medical metric conversions

These conversions and general data are for use in the home. If precise conversions are needed please use the tables accessed from the home page. The measurements given here are based on Imperial / UK units. Standard USA units are slightly different and are marked.

[ abbreviation of measures ][ liquid conversions][ solid conversions ][ international units IU ][ % solutions]
[ calculate mEq ][ drug administration times ][ common abbreviations ][ estimate lean body weight ]

Apothecary / Metric and Other Conversion Equivalents

 Abbreviation of Measures gal or gals = gallons g = gram O, pt or pts = pints kg = kilogram (1,000g) oz or ozs = ounces mg = milligram (1/1,000g) fl.oz = fluid ounces mcg or µg = microgram (1/1,000,000g) lb or lbs = pounds L or l = litre (or liter in US) st = stones cl = centilitre (1/100 L) gtts = drops ml = millilitre (1/1000 L) iu = international units µl = microlitre (1/1,000,000 L) m or min = minims meq or mEq = Milliequivalent hr = hour m = metre (or meter in US) min = minutes mm = millimetre (1/1,000 m) sec = seconds cc or cu.cm = cubic centimetres (1/1,000 L) ft = foot or feet dr = dram or drachm gr = grains sc = scruple t or tsp = teaspoon T or tbsp = tablespoon

 Of General Interest • One litre of pure water weighs approx. one kilogram so 1cc of water weighs 1 gram. • A steel paper clip weighs about 1 gram. • "A spoonful" means heaped or rounded, with as much above the bowl of the spoon as in the spoon. Obviously, a measure of liquid is a level spoonful.

 Liquid Metric Conversions 1 gallon (gal)(US) = 3785 ml 1 gallon (UK) = 4546 ml 1 pint (pt)(US) = 473.18 ml 1 pint (UK) = 568.26 ml 16 fluid ounces (US) = 473.18 ml 20 fluid ounces (UK) = 568.26 ml 8 fluid ounces (US) = 236.59 ml 10 fluid ounces (UK) = 284.13 ml 4 fluid ounces (US) = 118.29 ml 5 fluid ounces (UK) = 142.07 ml 1 fluid ounce (fl.oz)(US) = 29.57 ml 1 fluid ounce (UK) = 28.41 ml - - - - 1cc = 1g = 1ml (approx) 1 teaspoon = 5 ml (approx) 10 minims = 0.616 ml 1 tablespoon = 15 ml (approx) 15 to 16 drops ( gtts ) = 1 cc = 1ml 1 drop = 1 minim approx
 Note:- Spoon and drop conversions should be regarded as approximations due to the different surface tensions and specific gravity of various liquids.

 Solid Metric Conversions 1 pound (avoirdupois) = 453.592 g 1/2 grain = 30 mg 1 pound (apothecary) = 373.242 g 1/4 grain = 15 mg 1 ounce (avoirdupois) = 28.35 g 1/8 grain = 8 mg 1 ounce (apothecary) = 31.10 g 1/12 grain = 5 mg 15 grains = 1 g 1/100 grain = 600 mcg 10 grains = 600 mg 1/150 grain = 400 mcg 7 1/2 grains = 500 mg 1/200 grain = 300 mcg 5 grains = 300 mg 1/250 grain = 250 mcg 1 1/2 grains = 100 mg 1/300 grain = 200 mcg 1 grain = 64.79891 mg 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds 1 pound = 0.45 kilograms (kg) 1 stone = 6.35 kg 1000 mcg = 300 to 7000 iu (below) 1000 mcg = 1 mg 1 scruple = 1.2 g 1 drachm = 28.8 g
 Note on International Units ( i.u. ) An old measurement of vitamin activity determined by biological methods as opposed to new measures that are determined by direct chemical analysis. Many health foods and supplements still use i.u. ( IU ). For Vitamin A, 1 i.u. = 0.3µg retinol, 3.6µg b-carotene, or 7.2µg other vitamin A carotenoids For Vitamin D, 1 i.u. = 0.025µg cholecalciferol For Vitamin E, 1 i.u. = 0.67µg natural a-tocopherol (different conversion factors are used for different forms of vitamin E)

 Ratios and Percent Solutions 1:100 = 1g/100ml [10mg/ml] = 1% 1:200 = 500mg/100ml [5mg/ml] = 0.5% 1:1,000 = 100mg/100ml [1mg/ml] = 0.1% 1:5,000 = 20mg/100ml [200mcg/ml] = 0.02% 1:10,000 = 10mg/100ml [100mcg/ml] = 0.01%

#### Calculation of Milliequivalents (mEq)

mEq = Weight (grams) / mEq Weight (grams)

 Ion or Compound mEq W.(g) Ion or Compound mEq W.(g) Na+ 0.023 HC03- 0.061 K+ 0.039 NaCl 0.0585 Ca++ 0.020 KCl 0.0745 Mg++ 0.012 CaCl.2H2O 0.0735 NH4+ 0.018 NH4Cl 0.0535 Cl 0.0355 MgSO4.7H20 0.123 Lactate 0.089 NaHCO3 0.084 Acetate 0.059 Ca Gluconate 0.224 Citrate 0.063 Phosphorus 0.031

For milliequivalent weights not shown, use the formula:-
milliequivalent weight (mEq W.) =
Atomic Weight (g) / (Valence) x 1,000

 Drug Administration Times Standardised medication administration times should be followed as much as possible. The following table shows those hours of the day which are to be used as standardised times of medication administration. If the prescriber wishes the first dose to be administered before the earliest available standardised time then the prescriber should state "expedite" or "first dose now" with the drug order. In ICU's the first dose of a newly ordered parenteral antibiotic regimen should be administered within 2 hours unless specified otherwise by the prescriber.

Ordered Time
Hour(s) to be given
QAM 08
QD  08
QHS 21
QPM 17
BID 08 17
Q12H 08 20
Q8H 08 16 24
TID 08 12 17
TID AC 07 12 17
TID W/M 0730 1230 1730
QID 08 12 17 21
Q6H 06 12 18 24
AC & HS  07 12 17 21
PC & HS 08 13 18 21
1 HR AC & HS 0630 1130 1630 2100
1 HR PC & HS 0830 1330 1830 2100
5 X's/day 06 1030 15 1930 23
Q4H 04 08 12 16 20 24

Common Terms and Abbreviations

 Term or Phrase Abbreviation Meaning ad ad to, up to ad libitum ad. lib. at pleasure ana a.a. of each ante cibos a.c. before meals aqua aq. water bis in die b.i.d. twice a day collyrium collyr. eye lotion cum c. with cum aqua cum aq. with water dentur tales doses d.t.d. give such doses dispensa disp. dispense et et and gutta, guttae gtt. drop, drops hora somni h.s. at bedtime in vitro in vit. in glass misce m. mix non repetatur non. rep. do not repeat oculus dexter o.d. right eye oculus sinister o.s. left eye omni die o.d. daily omni mane o.m. every morning omni nocte o.n. every night per os p.o. by mouth placebo placebo to please post cibos p.c. after meals pro re nata p.r.n. as the occasion arises quantum sufficiat q.s. sufficient quantity quater in die q.i.d. four times a day recipe Rx take semis ss _ one-half sine s,s without si opus sit s.o.s. if necessary ter in die t.i.d. three times a day trochiscus, torchisci troch. lozenge, lozenges unguentum ungt. ointment ut dictum ut dict. as directed

Estimating Lean Body Weight

Lean Body Weight Calculation: Males 50kg + 2.3kg per each inch over 5 feet of height Females 45kg + 2.3kg per each inch over 5 feet of height In patients whose actual weight is > 20% over the above calculated ideal body weight, add 40% of the difference between the actual and the calculated ideal weights to the calculated ideal weight to arrive at a corrected ideal body weight. 1kg = 2.2 lbs. 14 lbs. = 1 stone = 6.35 kg

 Height Estimated Lean Body Weight (+) or ( - ) 2.3kg per inch over/under 5 feet tall  (+) 50kg for men or (+) 45.5kg for women Imperial / metric Males (kg) Females (kg) 4 ft 8 in / 142 cm 40.8 36.3 4 ft 9 in / 145 cm 43.1 38.6 4 ft 10 in / 147 cm 45.4 40.9 4 ft 11 in / 150 cm 47.7 43.2 5 ft 0 in / 152 cm 50.0 45.5 5 ft 1 in / 155 cm 52.3 47.8 5 ft 2 in / 157 cm 54.6 50.1 5 ft 3 in / 160 cm 56.9 52.4 5 ft 4 in / 163 cm 59.2 54.7 5 ft 5 in / 165 cm 61.5 57.0 5 ft 6 in / 168 cm 63.8 59.3 5 ft 7 in / 170 cm 66.1 61.6 5 ft 8 in / 173 cm 68.4 63.9 5 ft 9 in / 175 cm 70.7 66.2 5 ft 10 in / 178 cm 73.0 68.5 5 ft 11 in / 180 cm 75.3 70.8 6 ft 0 in / 183 cm 77.6 73.1 6 ft 1 in / 185 cm 79.9 75.4 6 ft 2 in / 188 cm 82.2 77.7 6 ft 3 in / 191 cm 84.5 80.0 6 ft 4 in / 193 cm 86.8 82.3 6 ft 5 in / 196 cm 89.1 84.6 6 ft 6 in / 198 cm 91.4 86.9 6 ft 7 in / 201 cm 93.7 89.2 6 ft 8 in / 203 cm 96.0 91.5

For metric conversions go to a unit starting with -
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