back to article Healthy 32-year-old offered COVID-19 vaccine because doctors had him down as 6.2cm tall with BMI of 28,000

The conflict between imperial and metric reached new heights this week as a man believed by his GP surgery to be 6.2cm tall was invited to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Diminutive Liam Thorp – or should we say Liam Thumb? – was surprised to receive a text from the NHS saying he was next up for immunisation because the 32- …

  1. aregross
    FAIL

    This is how you crash things into Mars!

    1. DJV Silver badge

      ...and someone with a BMI of 28,000 would have made an interestingly sized crater!

      1. katrinab Silver badge
        Coat

        A 6.2cm individual with a BMI of 28000 would be about 108kg

        If we assume he is a perfect cylinder with a density of 1g/cm^3, then his waistline would be around 4.7 meters.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Boffin

          So it's only cows that are spherical in a vacuum?

          And is that waistline figure before or after impact?

          1. John Robson Silver badge
            Coat

            With height constrained then to assume a density approximating water we must assume a non spherical geometry

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. Citizen99

          Withdrawn - the joke had already been made..

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "..and someone with a BMI of 28,000 would have made an interestingly sized crater!"

        Unlike the bowl of petunias before impact who merely thought "Oh no, not again".

    2. CuChulainn

      It's also a possible sign of wider glitches in the system.

      According to the anonymous calculators, I am not due for vaccination until June. Even if I say I have an underlying condition (and the 'listed' conditions are dire) in the calculator, it's still end of April.

      I'm carer to two elderly parents, late 80s and early 90s. They have had their first shot - but I had to force that myself, spurred on in December by publicity shots of Prue Leith (UK TV celebrity, who is 80) standing in line to get hers. My parents couldn't stand in a queue if they tried thanks to having COPD. I have no issue with Ms Leith being vaccinated, but the prioritisation leaves room for question. My parents finally had theirs in late January (and the loophole I used has now been closed)

      Then a friend in Leeds told me his 70-something aunt had been invited (no underlying conditions) in December, when it was care homes, over-80s, and front line workers only, but his mother (slightly older) hadn't. His mother finally had hers early February.

      And I still see people younger than me - without any underlying conditions - somehow getting the shot. As evidenced today when my sister - four years younger - told me she'd been invited for hers. Apparently, the system has her down as a carer even though she doesn't live with my parents. She attempted to question it, but gave up because of the bureaucracy and lack of information available on the phone.

      These are the ones I am personally familiar with, but I see people on FB groups boasting how they've booked theirs - yet I know their ages, and there is no indication of any underlying conditions (which are all quite dire when you look at the list) being the drivers to how they've managed it.

      The media is filled with emphasis on strict priority groups, and warnings to wait for 'the letter' and not to try and queue jump.

      Although this El Reg story is an amusing and an extreme case, there really does appear to be some strange information in the system. And some areas of the UK seem worse than others.

      1. DJV Silver badge

        I fully agree with you. I was told by a text from my GP surgery on the 12th Feb to register for my vaccination. So I phoned up and booked it for today (20th). I am 66 with no underlying health problems. A friend of mine has an uncle who is 75 and lives only about 10 miles from me (same county, though different GP) who has yet to be contacted at all!

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          It does seem to vary area by area how quickly they get through their lists. Possibly related to the % take up rate.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I had mine a couple of weeks ago based presumably on age and Type 2 Diabetes - before a young friend who has Cystic Fibrosis. He wasn't originally expected to survive into adulthood owing to chronic lung damage and is on a permanent cycle of antibiotics.

            1. ICPurvis47 Silver badge
              WTF?

              Text invitation

              I received a text from my GP surgery at the local medical centre, inviting me to go on line to book a jab (I am 73). I followed the link and jumped through all the hoops, and was assigned to a vaccination centre the other side of Shrewsbury, about 18 miles away, and not my local medical centre, 3 miles away. As it happened, I was going to the medical centre the next day to collect my medication, so I showed the receptionist the text and asked her why Shrewsbury? The practice manager happened to be passing by at that moment, and she grabbed me and towed me into her office, filled out some paperwork, and five minutes later I was in one of the consulting rooms getting the Oxford jab. Practice manager was very concerned that although _they_ had sent me the invitation, the system had assigned me to a different medical centre.

              1. CuChulainn

                Re: Text invitation

                Here in Nottinghamshire, people in Newark were receiving letters and then being offered jabs in Sheffield and Wakefield - with nothing local. I even saw one report of one being offered in Grantham.

            2. Muscleguy Silver badge

              Gods, Covid would kill someone like him with CF in pretty quick fashion.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Lower risk groups at the hospital I work in are getting told to attend vaccination points after 4pm as there are no shows and wasted vaccines if we don't come in. It's a shame they aren't mentioning this to people like you who genuinely need it. I went 3 times and had mine that 3rd time, better my arm than the bin. Also what's with people not showing up in the first place.....

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          There are some vaxx refusers who get phoned by the GP etc and say yes to get them off the phone, but never listened to the reasoned reassurances and never intended to go. I'd also hazard a guess that there are also some who genuinely agreed to go, but then get their ears bent by refuser family members.

      3. John Robson Silver badge

        "the prioritisation leaves room for question"

        Age is a very strong factor, due to the natural (and fairly abrupt) decline in immune response as we age.

        Such that even those on multiple immunosuppressive medications are considered lower risk than those who are "just" elderly.

        That's the reasoning behind the current priority scheme, it's one of the very few bits of scientific advice which is being followed (but then it's the NHS listening).

        Is there room for question? Absolutely, but this isn't really where I'd be questioning...

        From a purely personal viewpoint, I'd have rather my wife had the vaccine before me, since she is actually having to go out occasionally, whereas I haven't been to anywhere with people (a few very distanced visits to very open spaces) in a year (except getting the vaccine, that was genuinely anxiety inducing, and I'm not normally prone to anxiety). There is also no evidence to show how my (heavily compromised) immune system will respond to the vaccine...

  2. David Nash

    I read that twitter thread yesterday morning and what is notable is the number of people reporting similar types of errors on their medical records or during interactions with healthcare workers. One person was told by someone literally standing next to her that she was a foot shorter than she actually was.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      So look on the bright side, with a target of 100% of the population being offered the vaccination, we can expect by the end of it, the vast majority of the population's medical particulars will have been checked. Hopefully, they will also have been updated correctly...

  3. Steve Button

    Is it possible this is BS?

    I first saw it on Twitter, then on the BBC and now on El Reg. Is it possible this guy is having a laugh at our expense, and making himself a bit Twitter famous at the same time? Can the NHS really be that inept? (OK, at this point perhaps I should just not bother hitting submit - of course they can). LOL

    1. Dante Alighieri
      FAIL

      Re: Is it possible this is BS?

      Yes, it can and does happen, as you acknowledge. For multiple data types.

      The smart move would be to query the systems across the whole for all patients with a BMI >50 to then sense-check the data. Only a few will be real.

      Of course the clinical systems could be set up with limits to stop this but that would be sensible.

      Even "smarter" would be a check for values shifting >15% for some physiological variables.

      Not holding my breath

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Is it possible this is BS?

        15% - hello all children...

        I'd say that was reasonable if age >18, but littluns can grow at ridiculous rates, and it only takes one missed measurement...

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Is it possible this is BS?

          Sanity checking was £1.6bn extra...

  4. Stuart Halliday

    Cute. But let's not make a mole hill out of a mountain?

  5. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    Joke

    And, let me guess, the height entry was double-checked by a Wipro employee and triple checked by a Citibank manager?

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Joke

      "OK, I got those numbers ... "

      "6.2 metres I assume based on the BMI."

  6. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Input range checking

    and validation - sadly lacking in this case.

    And for every Liam Thorp, there must be others whose data was entered incorrectly and have been put into the wrong categories

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Input range checking

      My first thought when I heard this.

      Valid data ranges not checked, if reports ate true.

      If try, sad that potentially so much data could be invalid.

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Input range checking

      Not COVID vaccine related... but having reached 66 this week, I got my DWP pension details information come through a few days ago. There was one glaring error on them - they said my date of marriage was 3rd March 2004 and my divorce was 4th March 2004. That was one HECK of a long day - felt more like well over a decade! As it seems they don't want to talk on the phone for such "trivial" details and finding an email address to send the correction through is totally impossible it looks like I will have to sharpen up a quill to compose a written missive and post it to the idiots instead!

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Input range checking

        >they said my date of marriage was 3rd March 2004 and my divorce was 4th March 2004.

        Perhaps you might want to pause for thought. Perhaps that was the only way the system could handle the case of your ex not having any entitlement to your pension fund...

        1. DJV Silver badge

          Re: Input range checking

          Nah, she definitely signed all those rights away as part of the divorce.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Input range checking

            >Nah, she definitely signed all those rights away as part of the divorce.

            So you'll probably find the actual date of the divorce etc. in the notes (probably paper-file).

            Given the age of many pension systems, it makes sense (from a pension calculation viewpoint) for the divorce date to have been set to the day after the marriage, given they probably couldn't delete the marriage date.

    3. 00sjsl

      Re: Input range checking

      If a SW engineer tried to add input validation with some arbitary limits then the code would likly never complete code review. There would be a debate, possibly going on for months as to exactly what the limits should be.

  7. Mister Dubious
    Facepalm

    Size matters

    Yes, lads, it truly does.

    1. Danny Boyd

      Re: Size matters

      Not the size per se as much as units of measurement. Surely you'll agree 62 millimeters are bigger than puny 6.2 centimeters.

  8. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    At least they handled it well

    At least they handled it well.

    Here in the US, Nutjob trump had ZERO vaccine distribution plan, so it's been left to the states. (Biden is supposed to be working on it; but, he expected a disorganized national distribution plan to fix, not "no plan whatsoever".) Some states have reasonable plans; some none at all. Florida was using vaccines to increase tourism(!), they said anybody over 65 could get vaccines, and the Florida travel board encouraged people to travel to Florida to get them.

    As a result, here if this had happened, if you'd get the notice saying you're getting a vaccine... that's it. People here are (in most states) not doing any common-sense verification of info like this, if they did catch an error, just as likely or not it'd be like "Well, the appointment is already made"; if you decided you didn't want it so someone more deserving gets it, some states actually prohibit giving the shot to someone else and it'd be thrown out(!), others it's like at the end of the day the extra vaccines are injected into randos that are standing around waiting for "spare" vaccines. (If you get a call cancelling an appointment here, it'll probably be because you're in one of the less-organized states, and they handed out appointments in excess of their actual supply of vaccine, they're cancelling because they don't actually have any vaccine for you, not because you're 30 and healthy. That said, most is going to elderly, health care workers, etc. like it should -- just not anywhere near fast enough.)

    1. Mike Lewis

      Re: At least they handled it well

      As part of vaccinating the elderly, my friend in Phoenix was offered appointments at 11:55 p.m. or 4:20 a.m. She was warned she might have to stay in her car for hours and there were no bathrooms.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: At least they handled it well

        > she might have to stay in her car for hours

        I guess if she wasn't elderly she would have to camp on the sidewalk: You have to teach the peons some discipline!

        Besides candidate elimination increases for free the amount of vaccine available: You won't need to spend money you could put into your own pocket. Win-win.

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: At least they handled it well

      The US is a federation, isn't that how it's supposed to happen? Even here in the UK, ScotGov is doing MacVacc, WelshGov is doing TaffyVac, NorGov is doing NornIrnVacc and BorisGov is doing England.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: At least they handled it well

        And DEC are doing MicroVax... but I wouldn't want to inject one into my arm.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: At least they handled it well

          DEC are doing Micro Vax? Still? And here I thought DEC was functionally defunct as a company these last thirty-odd years.

    3. CuChulainn

      Re: At least they handled it well

      Here in the US

      And since you posted that, this happened.

      They'd apparently managed to get their first jabs, but were prevented from having the second.

  9. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    The Osman

    Liam Thorp at 6'2'' is only 5 inches shorter 1 Osman, the standard unit of (Covid-19) Social Distancing at 6'7''.

    https://www.theregister.com/2020/03/27/reg_standards_soviet_social_distancing_measure/

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The Osman

      > the standard unit of (Covid-19) Social Distancing at 6'7'

      6.7 cm? Wow, that's intimate. Any closer and some might get pregnant.

    2. Danny Boyd

      Re: The Osman

      0.0633 Osman shorter, to be exact.

    3. yetanotheraoc

      The Thorp

      == 6.2 cm, but is only valid when it is not valid.

  10. Mike 137 Silver badge

    consequences of mistakes in medical records

    Long ago I had a contract in a hospital trust where the Accident & Emergency computer system demanded a postcode before allowing an admission to be recorded. For occasions where an emergency patient didn't know or couldn't provide a postcode the staff had defined informally a standard dummy postcode to allow the admission to be processed. Consequently there were numerous people called John Smith (or other equivalents) with the same postcode but different medical histories. Surprisingly there hadn't been any misadventures by the time my contract ended, but my attempts to get the system amended fell dead as, so I was told, it was a centralised product for the health service at the time.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

      This leads to a an issue that frequently ends in steam issuing from my ears.

      The compulsory ( but non-essential) data input. Filling in an online form that requires some piece of information before it will accept a "submit" even though it's something that can be added later/just not needed, for example to ask a general question. They don't need the serial number of my fridge for me to ask whether they repair that make/model or what their working hours are, that sort of thing. Sure, if the answer is they only repair that model with certain serial numbers they might have to tell/ ask me ( sounds improbable), but otherwise, do I really have to go downstairs, empty half of the fridge, stick my head in sideways and transcribe a long sequence of digits and letters onto a piece of paper held out of sight somewhere around my waist just so that I can press the (previously greyed out) "submit" button?

      If it's just something simple like my not wanting to give them my mobile number (maybe out of stubbornness, but mostly because I know perfectly well that if I do they'll phone that instead of the number I've told them to) I'll fake one.

      1. Colonel Mad

        Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

        That's what phone cameras are for.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

          In theory, that will remove the note taking aspect. Even that depends where the dratted numbers are. Else after all that veg moving I'd just have a blurry picture of, possibly, a finger.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

        Order something in the UK where they insist on a mobile number as part of the delivery information for some inexpensive item - and the form validation refuses a landline number.

        1. TimMaher Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

          A couple of years ago our GP surgery changed their software supplier and introduced a different online system for booking appointments, ordering prescriptions etc.

          They didn’t port the previous patient database so you had to register all over again.

          I found out why when I tried to re-register, they wouldn’t allow a hyphen in your last name.

          SQL injection defence? I don’t think so.

          Data validation technique a la 1981 4GL language standards? I don’t know.

          Anyway, I now do everything by phone or face to face.

      3. MrBanana Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

        Sometimes it can be taken to monumentally stupid levels.

        Calls bank."Can you tell what time you're open".

        "Do you have an account with us?"

        "Yes" (dumb mistake)

        "Can I take your account details?"

        "No, I just wan't to know when the branch is open" (I've been caught out in recent times by their useless web page)

        "Sorry, I need to validate your identity first".

        [ Long discussion ensues, ends up with ]

        Because: "Data protection"

        I'd like to think the conversation really was being recorded for training purposes, but I very much doubt it - they never learn.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

          I wish I could upvote this x1000

          But a

        2. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

          Oh and saying "yes" wasn't a dumb answer. You gave the only sane answer to a closed question (y/n).

          If you'd said "no" I dread to think what the response could have been. Anything from trying to sell you an account to "Sorry......bzzzzzz".

          1. CRConrad

            Re: If you'd said "no"

            "No, I want to know the opening hours so I can go there and get an account."

            Can't see how they could refuse that.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: If you'd said "no"

              How about "I'll tell you when I get there, as I close my account due to your corporation's abjectly stupid rules."

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: If you'd said "no"

              "Thank you for your inquiry we'll be pleased to help you"

              <click> hold music <click>

              "Good morning, I gather from my colleague that you'd like to open a new account....."

      4. MrBanana Silver badge

        Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

        "If it's just something simple like my not wanting to give them my mobile number (maybe out of stubbornness, but mostly because I know perfectly well that if I do they'll phone that instead of the number I've told them to) I'll fake one."

        I've not had a problem with me giving out my "absolutely necessary" but non-existent land line number. Area code 01234, number 567 890. Even directly over the phone - just get the cadence right, and I've never been questioned over it. They will even repeat it back to me without any sign of recognition.

        1. Dave559 Bronze badge

          Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

          I wonder whether there actually is some poor person in Bedford (01234) who gets everyone else's unsolicited calls, however? I'm sure you are not the first person to have thought of that number for annoying forms, but definite kudos for getting away with it when actually talking to a human.

          Although sadly not as easy to remember as US "555" numbers, there are a few UK number ranges that are reserved for fictictious use.

        2. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

          > Even directly over the phone - just get the cadence right, and I've never been questioned over it.

          Of course. Don't forget, you're not speaking to the evil mastermind who devised the Kafkaesque bureaucracy highlight you're dealing with, but just to some uninterested college student working for peanuts: (S)he just follows instructions, and at no point (s)he was told to validate input.

      5. yetanotheraoc

        Re: consequences of mistakes in medical records

        "not wanting to give them my mobile number"

        I always put in their customer service number.

  11. frankyunderwood123

    people replaced by algorithms ... or just poor coding...

    I'd say this is a case of crappy programming.

    Clearly anyone hired by the NHS is not going to be in the "idiot" range on the IQ score and would pick this up right away.

    Obviously what happened is ... software.

    Whoever coded that software never thought "Hmm, perhaps it would be a good idea to write some unit tests around the minimum and maximum possible heights in different age ranges."

    ... I mean, really, why would you ... erm, do something so incredibly obvious.

    So, yeah, this entire event was an automation fubar - because lazy & shit coders.

    1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid

      Re: people replaced by algorithms ... or just poor coding...

      Anyone is capable of being lazy and shit, residually with hindsight. I'm currently reading "humble pi" by the mathematician Matt Parker. One of the early chapters is all about data and databases. It's got stories like the man called Steve Null, whose company's HR database kept deleting him overnight. Or Brian Test who had the same issue. He then goes on to SQL injection attacks.

    2. Danny Boyd

      Re: people replaced by algorithms ... or just poor coding...

      Typical error: not checking user's input against known rules and boundaries. The classic case of GIGO.

    3. aks

      Re: people replaced by algorithms ... or just poor coding...

      The coding is the easy part. I discovered during my first job writing programs that the data validation code occupied at least as many lines of code and a lot more brainpower than coding to the algorithm.

      Later, when doing support, I discovered plenty of examples of gaps (even in my own perfect code). I then immensely enjoyed testing code to destruction, especially common in edge-effect tests. Divide-by-zero exception anybody?

      1. MrBanana Silver badge

        Re: people replaced by algorithms ... or just poor coding...

        Agreed, there are two very common programming mistakes, divide by zero, memory allocation issues, and off by one errors.

  12. Andy the ex-Brit
    Joke

    The doctor entered the measurement correctly, but measured him while he was lying down.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Joke

      But only after an unfortunate encounter with a steam roller?

  13. Winkypop Silver badge
    Joke

    Short and very wide eh?

    Gentlemen.

    We have our astronaut for the Jupiter lander mission.

    1. Danny Boyd

      Re: Short and very wide eh?

      I'm afraid on Jupiter the poor chap will be compressed even further.

  14. Jason Hindle

    The reason I lost so much weight in short order?

    A healthcare assistant made a colossal conversion error, in his head, and told me I was just short of 20 Stone. It was actually 16; now 12. I suppose the miscalculation could be deliberate. I know the way they inform patients or their cholesterol level can be very misleading... They just add the good cholesterol figure to the bad cholesterol figure and tell you death is imminent. Thanks to that I discovered Quorn chilli ( and recommend it to meat eaters, like myself, and vegetarians alike).

    1. Danny Boyd

      Re: The reason I lost so much weight in short order?

      Quorn Chilli is a good laxative?

      1. Jason Hindle

        Re: The reason I lost so much weight in short order?

        No different to beef chilli. Depends on the chillis you use (mercurial little buggers at the best of times). Choose badly and the world will fall out of your bottom.

    2. ICPurvis47 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: The reason I lost so much weight in short order?

      But beware! If you suffer from Gout (like me) you will find that Quorn is higher in Purines even than Fatty Bacon. I was prompted by my vegetarian daughter to try a meat free week, so I bought two packs of Quorn Sausages and two of Quorn Burgers. That evening I had Bangers and Mash for dinner. Next morning I was in agony and had to resort to taking Colchicene to quell the pain. I gave the remaining sausages and all the burgers to my sister in law, who does not suffer the same, and she enjoyed them. Back to eating meat thanks, but nothing Pork related. I could kill for a bacon sandwich, but would regret it in the morning.

      1. John Arthur

        Re: The reason I lost so much weight in short order?

        As an occasional gout sufferer many thanks for that!

      2. Jim Whitaker

        Gout prevention

        Have you/your GP considered Allopurinol?

        1. ICPurvis47 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Gout prevention

          Yes, thanks, I take it daily.

    3. CRConrad

      Rouding...

      ...to the nearest whole ten, 16 is just short of 20.

  15. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    And the reason they withdrew the vaccine offer?

    They just didn't like his altitude.

    Badum, tish. Eyethangyou. I'm here all week, matinees at weekends, try the fish.

  16. jake Silver badge

    The BMI? C'mon, this is 2021!

    Hasn't anyone told the NHS that BMI is only useful for filtering out the credulous? Consider that Arnold da Governator in his T-800 body would be considered "grossly obese" according to the BMI.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The BMI? C'mon, this is 2021!

      In a general local population BMI is probably a good first indicator for the majority of patients.

      I have an Omron set of bathroom scales. It not only tells you your personalised weight and BMI - but also the amount of muscle and fat it has measured by presumably conductivity. How it distinguishes between body fat and the more important visceral fat is an interesting question.

      A friend tried it. IIRC at 5'2" and 15 stone she was deemed to have a BMI of 36 - and body fat of 50%. No doubt in her younger scuba diving days a lot of that fat might have been muscle.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: The BMI? C'mon, this is 2021!

        A good first indicator for most patients is looking into a mirror and admitting they are fat. A good second indicator is running out of breath halfway up the second flight of stairs. The BMI is just a crutch, and a poorly designed one, at that.

        I suspect your scale is better at separating you from a few quid than it is at accurately measuring your body fat percentage, as indicated by your friend's results.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The BMI? C'mon, this is 2021!

          "[...] than it is at accurately measuring your body fat percentage, as indicated by your friend's results."

          No reason to doubt the scales ballpark figures. My friend really is obese. She puts being a "foodie" above her doctor's repeated warnings that she needs serious weight loss. She is now clinically pre-diabetic - but dropped out of the relevant management group sessions as "boring".

          1. CRConrad

            I'm not pre-diabetic any more.

            Though there would have been a better way to stop being that.

  17. Sandstone
    Meh

    Keep Calm and Begin Your Crash Diet.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Metric? Pah - let’s have none of that new fangled rubbish around here.....

    I was, a decade or so ago, an inpatient at a major London hospital. My condition was one where my body weight was a major factor, both for medication dosage and monitoring of treatment.

    Therefore, each morning, I was carefully weighed - so, each morning, I would get up and hop on the scales myself to see how I was doing. Having more than a passing command of the metric system I was somewhat irked when sometimes the digital scales were set to read st/lb and would switch them to metric.

    One morning, a (different, presumably bank) nurse came in for the weighing routine

    I hopped on the scales (having previously switched them to metric). She tut-tutted and said “Someone’s been playing with these”, made me sit on the bed whilst she fiddled and got them to read good old imperial units, then weighed me old-school, wrote the numbers down and went about her day.

    Couple of hours later one of my medical team came in “We just need to weigh you”

    “That’s already been done - 68.4 Kg” says I.

    “No, you were 62 Kg”

    “Err, no - I did it myself.”

    Then the penny dropped. Turns out this particular nurse was weighing everyone in old-school units, just like she was taught to do back in the dark ages or whenever, then *manually* performing the conversions back at the nurse’s station before updating the observations. Not surprisingly she had made an error that caused a bit of a crisis when my team thought I’d lost 6 kilos overnight.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metric? Pah - let’s have none of that new fangled rubbish around here.....

      My annual diabetes Type 2 review involves being weighed at the clinic. I always make sure to wear the same clothes each time - and stand in my stocking feet. Not sure if the nurse notes the displayed value - or makes some mental adjustment for how heavy my clothes might be.

      With my normal BMI of 22 - she wanted me to lose at least 2kg. Seeing the doctor 6 months later - he considered sending me for a cancer scan because of the 3kg weight loss.

  19. Jim Whitaker

    NHS IT

    Yet another example of poor software design (for or by the NHS, I don't know). Have they not heard of data entry validation?

  20. BazzF

    I'm 64 and have not been invited to the beta test of this new drug. Rather miffed.

    1. jake Silver badge

      What "new drug" are you on about? I see no mention of a new drug in either the article or the comments.

      If you mean a vaccine, they are not a drugs.

  21. Conundrum1885

    Neutron star

    Its been suggested by someone who cranked the math that this sort of density (ie a fully grown adult shrunk to 6.2cm high) would be in the realms of a neutron star but in fact it looks like they'd be approximately 26.22 times the density of uranium.

    In fact no element on the periodic table has anywhere close to this.

    Maybe if there were undiscovered elements somewhere on the Island of Stability ie doubly magic 121-124 if the quantum spin calculations are correct for nested proton and neutron shells but again this is probably beyone most people's abilities to calculate.

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