One of the most infuriating practices of the British media is to translate the proper medical data recorded by the hospital (in kilograms, naturally) into the obsolete units that were once used by our grandparents or great-grandparents. Thus, our future head of state is described as weighing in at “8lbs 6oz”. So how much is that, and is it a lot or a little?
A reader of Metric Views from the USA raises the issue of measurement units in medical practice generally, or ‘cultural metrication’ as he terms it.
In response to UKMA’s patron, Lord Howe, the junior Health Minister, Baroness Thornton said she “absolutely agreed” that it is “time for all of us, in all parties,…. to work together to clear up this long-standing and very British mess.” She added “This is a matter that will solve itself over time but it is our job in government to move as fast as we can towards people recognising and feeling comfortable using metric calculations.”
Six months after an official report warned of systemic negligence in medical weighing practice within the NHS, the Department of Health has failed to issue the necessary safety alert to hospital trusts to ensure that the report’s recommendations are implemented.