The provider orders 1 liter of fluids to continuously infuse over the next 12 hours. Calculate the drip rate in drops per minute using 15 drops/mL macrodrip IV tubing.
Select Your Answer:
1 liter = 1,000 mL. 12 hours = 720 minutes
1,000 mL x 15 drops per mL / 720 min = 20.833 gtts/min = 21 gtts/min.
Macrodrip IV tubing delivers 10-20 gtts/mL. Find the drip rate on the tubing's outer packaging. Microdrip tubing delivers fluids at a rate of 60 gtts/mL.
Calculate drip rate using the formula: (Volume x drop factor) / (total minutes) = drops/minute.
In the hospital, IV pumps are often used, negating the need to calculate drip rates. In the setting of power loss, equipment failure, or increased patient load due to a mass casualty, an IV pump may not be available for every patient and drip rates will need to be calculated.
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