JOHN G. SOTOS, M.D.
To the editor: Is it reasonable to call a McDonald's quarterpounder a McDonald's 0.1134-kilogrammer? I would say no, but after reading in the Annals how a markedly hypertensive woman was administered 25.4 mm of topical nitrates (1), I am not sure what your response would be.
The problem, of course, is that although we know in wonderfully exquisite detail how to convert numbers between SI units and English units (2), it is much more difficult to simultaneously convert the degree of precision subjectively associated with these numbers. "Suggested minimum increments" have been tabulated for a variety of laboratory measurements (2),
SOTOS JG. SI Units and Ketchup on a Kilogrammer. Ann Intern Med. 1988;108:776. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-108-5-776_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1988;108(5):776.
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