international, laboratory, lab values, SI, conventional

Posted: May 5, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

General Information:

The two main units used by medical laboratories are “conventional (used in the US) and SI (used by most other countries).

Pearls to know:

  • For monovalent ions (i.e. Na+, Cl-) — mEq/L=mmol/L (135 mEq = 135 mmol/L)
  • For divalent ions (i.e. ionized Ca2+, Mg2+) — mEq/2=mmol (Mg2+ of 2 mEq/L = 1 mmol/L)
  • Creatinine — Multiply conventional untis by 88 (1 mg/dL = 88 mmol/L)
  • Glucose — Multiply SI units by 18 (4 mmol/L = 72 mg/dL)
  • Hemoglobin–Multiply conventional units by 10 (14 g/dL = 140 g/L)

Relevance to the EM Physician:

These tips will help you convert labs to familiar values when reading medical literature, when working in another country, or when working with international colleagues.

 

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