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To the Editor:—
While supporting Capt. Julian Love's plea for general use of the metric system, I think he is not strictly correct in one point in his letter (J. A. M. A.154:263 [Jan. 16] 1954). He complains that results of blood chemistry studies are recorded in milligrams per 100 ml., but the leukocyte count is reported in thousands per cubic milliliter rather than microliter. It is still correct, however, to express blood cell counts in this way, because the volume of fluid in the counting chamber is one based essentially on a linear measurement. It is, in fact, strictly a cubic millimeter, or a part thereof. It is not the millionth part of a liter because the liter is now a measure of volume based on an arbitrary standard divorced from the meter. It is true that the idea of the French government was to have measures
Birch CA. USE OF THE METRIC SYSTEM. JAMA. 1954;154(14):1199. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940480051021