# Drug Calculations for Busy Paramedics

4049 words 17 pages
calIV and Drug Calculations for Busy Paramedics
By Kent R. Spitler, MSEd, RN, NREMT-P EMS Educator Charlotte, North Carolina Introduction Medication calculations can cause frustration for EMS providers. Math and pharmacology can make it difficult to succeed on course exams, in the clinical setting, and in the field. There is a solution to make medication calculations easier. The answer to this problem is simple by showing students how to perform calculations using a simple process. While there are plenty of good drug and solution textbooks, study guides, and presentations available showing the methods of medication calculations, It seems that it much of it causes mathematical confusion often called “math mental blocks” for many EMS
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This leaves you with 1. 80 X 1 80 = = 80 or 80 gtts/min 1 1 Thinking this way will make it easier for you any time a 60 gtts/ml drip set is used. Just divide the amount of solution per hour by 1 and the number that is left is your answer in drops per minute. All you need to do is plug in the amount to be given over an hour. REGULAR DRIP SET – 10 DROPS PER MILLILITER Taking a look at the 10 gtts/ml regular drip set we need to think, how many 10 minute periods are in one hour? The answer is 6. (see page 2.) The objective here is that there are larger drops leading to less drops per minute. In the problem below, 10 goes into 10 once and 10 goes into 60 six times. Using the same formula as we did with the 60 gtts/ml set the problem is as follows: 80 ml (amount) X 10 gtts/ml (drip set) 80 X 10 1 80 X 1 80 = = 6 = 6 = 13.3 or 13 60 (divided my time in minutes – over 1 hour) 60 6 80 divided by 6 is 13.3 or 13 gtts/min. Now to it even simpler, every time you use a 10 gtts/min gtts/ml regular drip set just divide the amount by 6 since they’re six 10 minute time periods in one hour. All you need to do is plug in the amount of fluid per hour. 80 6 = 13.3 or 13 gtts/min 3

The two remaining regular drip sets are the 15 gtts/ml set and the 20 gtts/ml set. Remember, all you need to do is figure out how many time periods the drip set has in one hour