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October 2023 QQ Summary

Our October Quick Question poll asked, “Should coag factors be relabeled using Arabic numerals?” The poll arose from a discussion initiated by Dave McGlasson and attracted 42 responses:

  1. No, keep Roman numerals: 18 [42%]
  2. Yes, reduce confusion: 18 [42%]
  3. Use both Roman and Arabic numerals: 6 [16%]

It’s no surprise, based on our earlier discussion, that there’s a perfect 50-50 response, which means we’re not likely to change soon.

I [Geo] support switching to Roman [also called Western] numerals for the following reasons…

  • Why further complicate an already complicated subject?
  • From youth, all cultures are familiar with Arabic numerals.
  • The LIS, HIS, or EHR may not accept or could modify Roman numerals.
  • Providers with minimal hemostasis familiarity would profit from a more straightforward system.
  • Providers and lab scientists occasionally type VII when they mean VIII.
  • Providers and lab scientists occasionally type XI when they mean IX or vice-versa.
  • Providers often order FX when they want the anti-Xa heparin assay.
  • When ordering FX by voice, a provider may ask for “factor ex.”

However, besides thwarting tradition, a change would create these issues…

  • We use italicized Arabic numerals for coagulation factor genes, e. g., the F8 gene for the FVIII protein.
  • When opinion leaders update a naming system, they typically just end up with a two-name system, e. g., FVIII [8].
  • Providers and lab scientists could confuse F11 [Rosenthal] with FII [thrombin].

If you’ve not already responded, please post your opinion in the comments section below.

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