mEq Question help

  1. Hi -

    I have never worked with Milliequivalents before, or even heard of them...! That being said, I am hoping someone can critique my answer, please:

    Order is for K+ elixier 30mEq po
    On hand is K+ elixier 20mEq/one oz.
    How many mL will you administer?

    I did the following:

    On hand is 20mEq/1 oz.
    Therefore 30mEq/1.5oz.

    1 oz = 29.6mL (rounded to the tenths place)
    Therefore 1.5 oz = 29.6 X 1.5 = 44.4

    Answer = 44.4mL

    Is this correct, and furthermore...what in the diddlysquits is a Milliequivalent ...LOL!??
    Thanks!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   KelRN215
    Everywhere I've ever worked, 1 oz = 30 mL so your dose would be 45 mL. You did the math correctly, though.

    A milliequivalent is a fairly standard way of measuring electrolytes. It is 1/1000 of the equivalent weight of the element or compound.
  4. by   ~♪♫ in my ♥~
    From the viewpoint of solving these problems, equivalents (mEq) can be treated the same as mass (mg).
  5. by   Apple-Core
    Thank you both!
  6. by   bjwojcik
    This might help explain what a mEq is.

    Key Concepts to Understanding Milliequivalent Calculations

    mEq calculations involve quantities of ions and charges, not weights. Think dozens of eggs, not pounds of coffee beans.

    A millimole (mmole) is 1/1000 of a mole (mol) or 6.022 X 10^20 of anything.

    A mEq is a mmol of charges.
    Examples:
    1 mmol of NaCl = 1 mmol of Na+ and 1 mmol of Cl-.
    Na+ and Cl- each have one charge.
    1 mmol of NaCl = 1 mEq of Na+ and 1 mEq Cl-.
    1 mmol of MgSO4 = 1 mmol of Mg+2 and 1 mmol of SO4-2.
    Mg+2 and SO4-2 each have two charges.
    1 mmol of MgSO4 = 2 mEq of Mg+2 and 2 mEq of SO4-2.

    Brad Wojcik, PharmD

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