Thursday, January 20, 2011


VIRGULES ("/" -- slashes)... 4 mL/kg per day -not- 4 mL/kg/day

Per the AAMT BOS:

virgule (/)

The virgule, also known as diagonal, slant line, slash, solidus, is used for a variety

of purposes.


Virgules are often used to express equivalent alternatives. However, this

construction can often be avoided by the use of and or or.

  • a yes or no vote
  • preferred to a yes/no vote

The and/or construction is particularly awkward and can be remedied in

the following manner.

  • We are considering surgery or chemotherapy, or both.
  • preferred to We are considering surgery and/or chemotherapy.


To express per with a virgule, there must be at least one specific numeric quantity, and the element immediately on each side of the virgule must be

either a specific numeric quantity or a unit of measurement.

Do not use a virgule when a unit of measure does not have an acceptable abbreviated form, when a prepositional phrase intervenes between the

elements between per, or when a nontechnical phrase is used.

  • Sed rate: 52 mm/h
  • 120 beats per minute not 120 beats/min
  • She takes 5 mg of Valium per day. not She takes 5 mg of Valium/day.
  • She weighs in 3 days per week. not She weighs in 3 d/wk.

Avoid using more than one virgule per expression to reduce clutter and enhance readability.

  • 4 mL/kg per minute not 4 mL/kg/min

Exception: It is very common in cancer protocols to use two virgules in an expression of a dosage.

  • The patient was begun on a lymphoma protocol that included doxorubicin 25 mg/m2/day on days 1 and 15...

Do not abbreviate English units of time except in virgule constructions and tables. Do not use periods with such abbreviations.

  • The patient is 5 days old.
  • He will return in 3 weeks for followup.
  • 40 mm/h

In virgule constructions (and tables), use the following abbreviations from the SI (International System of Units). Note that no periods are used.

  • minute -- use min
  • hour – use h
  • day – use d
  • week – use wk
  • month – use mo
  • year – use y


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