heparin drip calculation

1 What is the answer to this question?
You have 500ml of D5W with 25,000 units of Heparin added. The drop factor is 60 gtt/min. What should the flow rate be if the patient is to receive 800 units/hr.
Formulas:
drops/minute = [(# of ml to be infused)*(# of drops in a ml)]/(# of minutes to infuse the above amount)
drops/minute = [(# of ml to be infused)*(drop factor)]/(# of minutes to infuse the above amount)
drip rate = [(IV fluid ordered)*(drop factor)]/(time frame ordered) 

Apr 20, '12 by Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorWe are happy help you but we will not do the math for you. Accurate dosing of meds is our primary responsibility and the consequences of not being able to calculate dosages can be fatal.
I think you will find the answers here.....
DosageHelp.com  Helping Nursing Students Learn Dosage Calculations
and dimensional analysis
http://www.davesems.com/files/drug_d...lculations.pdf 
Apr 20, '12 by boylibra2003Quote from abladeFirst: Get the time needed to infuse 500 ml using ratio and proportion:What is the answer to this question?
You have 500ml of D5W with 25,000 units of Heparin added. The drop factor is 60 gtt/min. What should the flow rate be if the patient is to receive 800 units/hr.
Formulas:
drops/minute = [(# of ml to be infused)*(# of drops in a ml)]/(# of minutes to infuse the above amount)
drops/minute = [(# of ml to be infused)*(drop factor)]/(# of minutes to infuse the above amount)
drip rate = [(IV fluid ordered)*(drop factor)]/(time frame ordered)
25,000 units 800 units
 =  where t = time
t 1 hr
25,000 units x 1hr
t =  = 31.25 hr
800 units
Now you can get the flow rate:
500 ml x 60 gtt/min
=  = 16 gtt/min (answer)
31.25 hr x 60 min/hr 
Apr 20, '12 by DoubleHelix, BSNHeparin calculations can be tricky for nursing students. The trick is to find out how many units are in one mL of fluid. You can find this by dividing the total number of units but the total volume of fluid.
So for your question: 25,000/500mL = How many units per mL?
Then you need to know how many mL's make up 800 units. You can find this by dividing the 800 units by the units per mL.
For example if your concentration is 100 units per mL you divide 800 units / 100 units per mL and you'll find how many mL's you need to get 800 units.
That's the amount of fluid you need to give in order to deliver 800 units/hour. You can plug that number into your formula to find your drip rate.
Try that, show your work, and repost if you still need help. 
Apr 20, '12 by DoubleHelix, BSNOf course, there will always be people who are willing to do the work for you, rather than helping you figure it out for yourself...

Apr 22, '12 by momtojoshi started a new thread asking when calulations start in nursing school and how they present it..no one replied.......i am a LPN now,I have a mental block when it comes to math...i struggle...i mean realy struggle.....and dont say its just simple alg....thats what i struggle at the most......i had to work hard at it.....do the profs expect you to know this automactically..not the nursing dosage but the conversions and that...will they start from the begining?.....i am so excited to start nursing but this is haunting me every day.....thanks to who ever responds....

Apr 22, '12 by FORTHELOVEOF!!!!I calculate the same way Ashley PICU does, it's easier for me to see in that manner than to setup an equation.

Apr 22, '12 by cnmbfaI teach nursing math. Yes, there are some conversion you simply will have to memorize, and then REMEMBER beyond the exam, because you will use them for the rest of your life. (pounds to kg., # of mL. in a teaspoon, tablespoon, ounce, etc.; number of mL in a cup, pint, quart, etc.) You will know how to convert among decimal units to a smaller or larger unit of measure, etc. There is no way around simply memorizing these things.
You will also need to learn several formulas for conmpleting the problems: DD/DH x V or Q for simple dose calculations (or you could use ratioroportion). Some teach dimensional analysis, which allows you to do conversions as part of the problem as you go.
You will alos learn how to calculate dose ranges, body surface area, drip rates, and how to set a pump if you are required to infuse something over a nonstandard time.
Yes, some students struggle with this. Yes, some faculty are better at teaching this than others. But here is the problem your faculty faces: they have very limited amount of time to teach this in a jampacked curriculum. They cannot and should not be expected to teach remedial math. They may feel bad for you, but there is not a lot they can do if you come in to this weak at math in the first place. Thus, I STRONGLY sugges that you start memorizing conversions NOW, that you locate some of the many online tutorial out there, etc. Go to you school's learning center and ask for homework to take home to reveiw algebra, fractions, ratio proportion, etc. Find a tutor. Do as many problems as you can ahead of time, and more. If anxiety is a big issue here, get counseling for it. The bottom line is that you are going to be expected to "get it" qucikly, so be prepared.
Math anxiety is a common issue among my students, as is poor fundamental math skills. My students did not all get the same level of math education, even if they all took HS algebra. This is unfortunate, but if your ACT scores tell you that you did not get a good basic level of education, I urge you to do whatever you have to catch up BEFORE you face nursing math, and certainly well before you face the test on which you are required to score 100%.
I lurk on this site from time to time, and often don't know what to think. As a kindhearted nurse of 40 years, I can appreciate your struggles to get to your goal of becoing a nurse. But to be honest, a lot of what I read on this forum makes me wonder. There is a clear theme in many posts of wanting things to be easier, and a huge interest in finding the fastest, easiest, least demanding way to what seems to be today's hottest meal ticket, an RN license. (I am NOT saying it is true of you, momtojosh.)
I am not sure what to make of the poor level of understanding or the lack of appreciation for the amount of real smarts it takes to be a nurse. Nurses need to master a HUGE amount of very complex content (A&P, cell biology, chemistry, pharm, patho, human G&D, psychology, communication, algebra, and more) to do what they do safely. That's just the way it is, and I for one think that anyone who wants to be an RN would realize that and fully commit to learning these things. I think the general invisilbility of nurses in the media, the naughty nurse and angel of mercy stereotypes, and public's poor understanding of what we actually do, play a role in the perception that becoming a nurse mostly requires the ability to be a kind, caring person and to look cute in a uniform, not the real brains, hard work, high level critical thinking skills, and selfdiscipline.
I am part of an online discussion group about issues facing nurse educators. There was a recent discussion about the requirement of a score of 100% on a math test after _____ attemtps (# varies among programs) to move on in a program. Most argued for keeping the requirement. The clincher for me was this: We have known for some time that a certain level of math skills is a standin for reasoning ability, and that persons who cannot do math at a certain level may have problems grasping other concepts as well. It turns out that the hospitals have discerned that failure to pass their inhouse math test with a score of 100% on the first try is a marker for a prolonged, difficult, or failed orientation, especially of new grads. They have found that is you are good at math, you will succeed as a nurse. So now instead of giving the math test a few weeks into the orientation, they are using it as a screening tool: if you don't score well, you don't get a second interview.
I know I will get flamed for being honest here, and for saying the following: Nursing schools and employers are currently in the driver's seat. We get to choose to admit or to hire the students whom we think will succeed. That might not be what folks want to hear, but it is the truth. So, if you want to be a nurse, you will do whatever it takes, including getting math tutoring, to get there. You will NOT waste time doing what so many do here: asking others to solve the problem for them. Neither will you ***** and moan about those mean old nursing instructors who hold you to high standards. Instead, you will realize that they are trying to do two things: see that you pass NCLEX, and get the job you want. 
Apr 22, '12 by nurseprnRNcnmbfa, many thanks for adding your voice. you have nailed it in one.
feel free to use the "crusty old bat":d identifier if it appeals to you. you sound just like us. 
Apr 22, '12 by abladeThanks everyone for your replies. I appreciate it. I haven't had time to look back at all the replies. But I will try to solve the problem again with the help I got from the comments.

Apr 24, '12 by IronInVelvetThank you Ashley, PICU RN for posting about figuring how many units of heparin are in 1 mL. Would this also be correct for units of regular insulin? Thanks

Apr 26, '12 by GracyMaeQuote from abladeI have not started my nursing classes yet, but seems to me that if you have 25,000 units of the medication in 500 mL, then you have 50 units of med per each mL of fluid. So each mL of fluid equals 50 units of med. So if for every 50 units of med, you have 1mL of fluid, then 800 units of med = 16 mL of fluid. So 16mL is your dosage amount. If you need to give 800 units per hour (per 60 minutes), then that is 16 mL per 60 min. So 16 mL is divided by 60 minutes, and that answer multiplied by 60 drops per minute. 16 divided by 60 and then multiplied by 60 just gives you 16. In this case, the time and drops are both 60, so they cancel each other out, and your answer is 16 drops per minute. Is this correct? Like I said, I have not started my BSN program yet, but I'm sure this is something we will be learning. Good Luck.What is the answer to this question?You have 500ml of D5W with 25,000 units of Heparin added. The drop factor is 60 gtt/min. What should the flow rate be if the patient is to receive 800 units/hr.Formulas:drops/minute = [(# of ml to be infused)*(# of drops in a ml)]/(# of minutes to infuse the above amount)drops/minute = [(# of ml to be infused)*(drop factor)]/(# of minutes to infuse the above amount)drip rate = [(IV fluid ordered)*(drop factor)]/(time frame ordered)

Apr 26, '12 by GracyMaeQuote from momtojoshI'm not sure what you mean when you say "beginning," but I assume they need you to know algebra and statistics  maybe some calculus, since those are required core courses for prenursing majors. And we learn conversions (liter to milliliter to microliter  10 to the zero, 10 to the negative 3, 10 to the negative 6, respectively) in core biology classes too  and those are basically just knowing in which direction to move the decimal point and how many spaces. 1 liter = 1,000 milliliters = 1,000,000 microliters. Micro is less than Milli is less than Liter, so you'll need many More of the smaller units to equal the bigger unit = decimal goes right, and on and on. I think people get confused because they often try to think of a number line, with negative numbers being on the left and positive numbers being on the right.i started a new thread asking when calulations start in nursing school and how they present it..no one replied.......i am a LPN now,I have a mental block when it comes to math...i struggle...i mean realy struggle.....and dont say its just simple alg....thats what i struggle at the most......i had to work hard at it.....do the profs expect you to know this automactically..not the nursing dosage but the conversions and that...will they start from the begining?.....i am so excited to start nursing but this is haunting me every day.....thanks to who ever responds....
So in trying to convert Liters (10 to the zero) to Milliliters (10 to the negative 3), they start moving the decimal to the left and then stick the number they end up with in front of the smaller unit, and that is incorrect.
Understanding this, I believe, is crucial. I think this (not understanding these basics) might be the reason when you hear a baby is overdosed on something. Makes me think of the case of Dennis Quaid's twins, a while back, and many other cases like that. They were given 10,000 units of heparin, instead of 10. Probably a simple miscalculation, even though I think in that case, maybe the color of the bottles of different dosages were similar and maybe that contributed more than the hospital employee's calculations, but I don't know for sure.
Nevertheless, I highly recommend you go back and review that stuff before you go in to any BSN program classes. I saved all of my notes and books from those classes just so I could keep refreshed on that stuff. So if by asking whether they "start from the beginning," you mean teaching you how to do decimal conversions and basic math, etc., I'm not sure, but I doubt it. I don't start my BSN classes until June, so I don't know for sure, but they might possibly have a 5 minute refresher at the beginning of the very first class that deals w/ conversions, but I assume they expect us all to know those basics, since 1) they are required core classes, and 2) because miscalculating a dosage on someone's meds could cause a serious or fatal problem for the patient, as I'm sure you know. I have a feeling Math is going to be Extremely Important when it comes to being an RN. Just my 2 cents. Good luck