When preparing to administer intravenous (IV) medications nurses must calculate the correct IV flow rate to ensure that the medication is delivered at the prescribed rate. The prescribed rate is usually given in milliliters per hour (mL/hr). To calculate the IV flow rate the nurse must first determine the volume of medication that will be administered. This is done by converting the medication dose from the unit that is listed on the medication order (such as milligrams or micrograms) to milliliters. The nurse must then divide the total volume of medication by the duration of the infusion (in hours). This will give the nurse the IV flow rate in milliliters per hour.

Table of Contents

When preparing to administer intravenous (IV) medications nurses must calculate the correct IV flow rate to ensure that the medication is delivered at the prescribed rate. The prescribed rate is usually given in milliliters per hour (mL/hr). To calculate the IV flow rate the nurse must first determine the volume of medication that will be administered. This is done by converting the medication dose from the unit that is listed on the medication order (such as milligrams or micrograms) to milliliters. The nurse must then divide the total volume of medication by the duration of the infusion (in hours). This will give the nurse the IV flow rate in milliliters per hour.

For example if a patient is to receive a 1000 mg dose of medication over the course of 4 hours the nurse would first convert the dose to milliliters. 1000 mg is the same as 1 gram and 1 gram is the same as 1 mL so the total volume of medication is 1 mL. The nurse would then divide 1 mL by 4 hours which would give a flow rate of 0.25 mL/hr.

It is important to note that IV flow rates are typically given in drops per minute (gtt/min) rather than in mL/hr. To convert from mL/hr to gtt/min the nurse must multiply the mL/hr flow rate by 60. Therefore in the above example the nurse would multiply 0.25 mL/hr by 60 which would give a flow rate of 15 gtt/min.

It is also important to remember that IV flow rates may need to be adjusted based on a number of factors such as the patient’s age weight and renal function.

## How do you calculate IV flow rate?

The IV flow rate is calculated by multiplying the total volume of fluid to be delivered by the infusion time.

## How do you calculate the total volume of fluid to be delivered?

The total volume of fluid to be delivered is calculated by multiplying the weight of the patient by the desired fluid percentage.

## How do you calculate the weight of the patient?

The weight of the patient can be calculated using a weigh scale or by using the patient’s weight from their medical records.

## How do you calculate the desired fluid percentage?

The desired fluid percentage is calculated according to the instructions of the physician.

## How do you determine the infusion time?

The infusion time is determined according to the instructions of the physician.

## What is the formula for calculating IV flow rate?

IV flow rate= total volume of fluid to be delivered/ infusion time

## What are the units for IV flow rate?

IV flow rate is typically given in mL/hour.

## What is the desired range for IV flow rate?

The desired range for IV flow rate will depend on the type of fluid being infused and the condition of the patient.

## What are the consequences of too high of an IV flow rate?

Possible consequences of too high of an IV flow rate include infiltration thrombophlebitis and tissue necrosis.

## What are the consequences of too low of an IV flow rate?

Possible consequences of too low of an IV flow rate include dehydration and hypotension.

## How can you adjust the IV flow rate?

The IV flow rate can be adjusted by changing the total volume of fluid to be delivered or the infusion time.

## How do you know if the IV flow rate is too high?

Signs that the IV flow rate may be too high include pain at the infusion site swelling and redness.

## How do you know if the IV flow rate is too low?

Signs that the IV flow rate may be too low include thirst dry mouth and lightheadedness.

## What are the possible complications of an IV?

Possible complications of an IV include infiltration thrombophlebitis tissue necrosis and infection.

## How can you prevent complications from an IV?

Possible ways to prevent complications from an IV include using a sterile technique when inserting the IV monitoring the IV site for signs of infection or inflammation and maintaining the IV flow rate within the desired range.