RICHARD M. FREEMAN, M.D.
To the editor: I am perturbed by an incongruity of modern medicine: we ingest sodium in milligram quantities; we excrete it in milliequivalents! When a hospital patient requires dietary sodium restriction, the physician orders a diet containing perhaps 400 mg of sodium. He does this despite the fact that the patient's plasma sodium is expressed in mEq/litre and the urinary sodium probably in mEq/24 hr. If one asks the physician how much sodium is in a litre of normal saline, he answers 154 mEq, not 9000 mg! All of our measurements of sodium metabolism in a patient are in terms
FREEMAN RM. Dietary Sodium: Milligrams or Milliequivalents?. Ann Intern Med. 1972;76:1043–1044. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-76-6-1043
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1972;76(6):1043-1044.
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