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IV Drip Rate Calculations

We all know that the "titrate to effect" works oh so well in the field when treating patients, right? Truth is we may get by with it - but, we could do ourselves and our patients some good by reviewing, practicing and using theses important formulas for IV infusions.

Let's get started with some review

Here are the BIG 3 formulas for calculating IV drips

To calculate an IV drip rate based on the volume of fluid to be infused over time.

Drops per minute = Volume to be infused in cc X Drop factor of IV set
Time in minutes

To calculate an IV drip rate for a medication that is administered based on a specified dosage to be infused per minute

Drops per minute = Dosage per minute to be administered X Drop factor (60)
Concentration of medication per ml

Hint: Make sure the unit measurement of the concentration and the dosage are the same.(e.g. both in milligrams)

To calculate an IV drip rate for a medication that is administered based on a specified dosage per kilogram of body weight per minute

Drops per minute = Desired dosage per minute X Weight in Kg X Drop factor of IV set
Concentration of medication per ml

Hint: Make sure the unit measurement of the concentration and the dosage are the same.(e.g. both in milligrams)

Other handy items to review

Convert pounds to kilograms: Divide pounds by 2.2

1 gram = 1000 milligrams 1 milligram = 1000 micrograms

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