Drip Rate Calculation
To calculate the drops per minute for an infusion by gravity, follow the steps in Table 8.6.
|Table 8.6 Calculating the Drops per Minute (gtts/min) for an Infusion by Gravity|
|1. Verify the physician order.||An order may read:
Example 1: Give NS IV 125 ml/hr.
Example 2: Give 1000 ml of NS IV over 8 hours.
|2. Determine the drop factor on the IV administration set.||The drop factor is the amount of drops (gtts) per minute. IV tubing is either macro tubing (10, 15, or 20 gtts/min) or micro tubing (60 gtts/min). The drop factor (or calibration of the tubing) is always on the packaging of the IV tubing.|
|3. Complete the calculation using the formula.||Use the formula:
To calculate ml/hr, divide 1000 ÷ 8 = 125 ml/hr.
Example: Infuse IV NS at 125 ml/hr. IV tubing drop factor is 20 gtts/min.
|4. Regulate IV infusion using the roller clamp.||Observe and count the drips in the drip chamber and regulate for 42 gtts/min (one full minute). Alternatively, divide 42 by 4 (rounded down from 10.4 to 10 gtts/min) to count for 15 seconds. The gtts/min should be assessed regularly to ensure the IV is infusing at the correct rate (e.g., every 1 to 2 hours, if the patient accidentally bumps the IV tubing, or if a patient returns from another department).|
|Data source: Fulcher & Frazier, 2007; Perry et al., 2014|
This video is a demonstration of how you can calculate a Dopamine drip:
All other material in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you would like to use this material, please provide attribution as follows: Richmond, J. (2016). https://www.ceces.ca/courses/med-math/. Continuing Education Centre for Emergency Services.