IV Dosage Calculations
They are easier than you think!

IV dosage calculations are of the up most importance if you are planning on working in a hospital or anywhere else where emergencies could arise.

For example: Lets say you have to give 80mg of IV lasix STAT x1 so that your patient, who is gasping for air and starting to panic more and more by the second, can get some relief from her flash pulmonary edema that just came on. This is not the time to realize you cannot do calculations!

Luckily for you, you came here, memorized this formula, and helped save your patient. Bravo! Let's get started. If you already learned how to calculate liquid PO medications you are already done. Yep, that's right, the formula is exactly the same.

IV dosage calculation equation

Example 1

Life Saving time! Using the scenario from above, your patient is in respiratory distress. The doctor looks at you and yells (yeah get used to that) "give 80mg IV lasix stat!" The code cart has 10ml vials of lasix. Each vial says 10mg/1ml of lasix. What do you give, and remember do it quickly!

Dosage Calculation Free Example

Example 2

You are starting a heparin gtt. You have calculated that you need to give a 4200 unit bolus of heparin from your protocol orders. You have a 10ml vial of heparin that states the concentration as 1000units/1ml. How much is your bolus in ml?

Dosage Calculation Free Example

Last Example

Warning! This one of those multi-step IV dosage calculations. you will need a conversion table for metric units of measure.

The order states to give 2 grams of magnesium sulfate. You have a bag of fluid that states 1000mg magnesium sulfate per 100ml of normal saline. How many ml do you give AND how many bags will you be giving?

Dosage Calculation Free Example

As you can see sometimes your dosage calculations will require a little more work. Always go back to the 3 basic steps if you get confused!

  1. Setup the Equation
  2. Mark out like units of measurement
  3. and
  4. Multiply Then Divide
Make sure you are very comfortable working with multi-step dosage calculations. You will do a lot of these in the real world.

Click here when you are ready to learn about IV drip rate calculations

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