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Editorials |

The American Shift to Medical SI Units

EDWARD J. HUTH, M.D.
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Chairman, Professional Journals Sector Committee, American National Metric Council; Editor, Annals of Internal Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(1):149-150. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-106-1-149
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For more than 2 decades, most of the medical community in the United States has stood by while the rest of the medical world, including our close neighbor Canada, moved from use of older conventional metric units to the coherent system of metric units officially titled le Système international d'Unités (International System of Units), widely known as the SI. Some SI units, such as the kilogram, were being used in American medicine, particularly in clinical research, but the most frequently reported clinical measurements—those for chemical and hematologic quantities—continued to be reported in non-SI metric units.

The advantages of using SI

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