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Thread: Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

  1. #1
    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

    Lizabeth Paulat
    July 21 2014

    The US has been one of three nations on earth that still ignores the metric system. It’s not that we don’t ‘officially’ recognize it; technically it’s been considered a standard form of measurement in the USA for 147 years. However, from a practical standpoint, what we still rely on, and defend to no end, is primarily dubbed the Standard American System, or Standard for short.
    However, for scientists and pharmaceutical companies, which have international bases and use the metric system in all their weights and measures, this is turning into quite a problem.
    In a recent study in Pediatrics, parents trying to measure the metric-to-standard equivalents for dosage get it wrong 40 percent of the time. Overdosing and under-dosing were both significant factors with another 40 percent of parents reading the instructions wrong, supplementing tablespoons for teaspoons.

    The conclusion of the study is that we should switch to a metric-only medication format to prevent future dosage mistakes, which would mean a complete overhaul of our entire system.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

    It seems simple enough to incorporate dual systems on medication measurement as a transitional measure. I recently bought an OTC cough medicine recommended by my doctor when I was having some bronchial issues. It came with a little cup calibrated entirely in CCs, yet the instructions were to take a teaspoonful. Now how confusing is that? They could just as easily have calibrated that little measuring cup with metrics on one side and the teaspoon line on the opposite side. What ever happened to common sense?

    On a similar note: all my life I've been accustomed to seeing teaspoon abbreviated as tsp. and tablespoon abbreviated as T. Recently I have seen them abbreviated in a variety of ways. Messing with tradition can only lead to confusion.

    OK, one more. At one time I would have thought that 40% of parents mis-reading instructions was incredible, meaning not believable. Yet I once sold a "bummer" lamb (one whose mother had died or had rejected it, and that needed to be bottle fed) to a young man and his girlfriend. Along with the lamb, I provided the powdered lamb milk replacer, bottles, nipples and detailed instructions as to how to mix the powder and water, how often to feed, etc. I've been an educator all my life so I can assure you that the instructions were very clear, and they were printed on the bag of milk replacer as well. About a week later I got a call from the concerned young man that his lamb was sick. I drove over with my veterinary box and found — a starving animal. Anyone who looked at it with a working brain would have seen that it was skin and bones. What went wrong? The guy was mixing the formula only half strength.

    I tell you what, you can't fix stupid.
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    Veteran Member Aaltrude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

    It is more usual in countries using the metric system to refer to the cc as a ml. 5 ml is one teaspoon.

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

    I have a heap of 5ml spoons and little 30 ml cups which came with various medications, and use them often. No, you can't fix stupid, as Islander says, but pharmacists could help by handing them out and explaining what they mean.

    It surprises me that such a 'progressive' country as the US doesn't use the metric system for measurement. I still have no idea what a bushel is - it sounds almost biblical!

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

    Haha, that's funny, Julie, because I have 3-4 bushel baskets down cellar!

    But yes, here certain professions, like auto mechanic and pharmacist, have to be conversant with the metric system. The rest of us just flounder around when it comes to conversions... or maybe we have an app on our smart phone to tell us how it's done! Not stupid — just inexperienced and untrained!
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Veteran Member Aaltrude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

    New Zealand converted to metric across the board while I was still in school. I remember in my early school years being taught how to do calculations in the pounds, shillings and pence currency we did use then. This itself is enough to make me glad we changed.

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

    The Admin replies to the Spelling Enforcement Police:
    Thank you for noticing! Had you (or anyone) caught this earlier, it would have been corrected immediately. However, at this point the correction would have to be made in every single post. It is an embarrassment, but it's a small thing and I'm simply not willing to take the time to go through and amend every single instance. Cost/benefit!
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    Veteran Member Reesacat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Taking Liquiid Medicine? You Better Know Your Metric System

    That is how we say it in the South. ..liquiid....better with liiquor.....;-)

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