Computing for Sodium Bicarbonate

Students Student Assist


Hi fellow Nurses,

Would anybody care to teach me how to compute for a Na Bicarb, please show sample solution if possible

Desired (x in meq)

Stock 8.4% or 84mg/50ml vial


NicuGal, MSN, RN

2,743 Posts

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PACU.

Not sure what you are asking....are you correcting to deficit? Are you giving a bolus or a gtt? How much does the doc want to give?

And while we like to help people, you work it out first and then we help.

Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health.

Yes, tell us how you think it should be computed. I know the numbers look complicated, but this is very basic math and applicable, obviously, to all med dosing-not just bicarb.


38 Posts

I'm sorry if I replied too late. This was an assignment given to us, maybe I copied it incorrectly. What I have here is that a patient needs to receive 5 meq of sodium bicarb. The stock is an 8.4% Sodium bicarb (84mg in a 50ml) vial. I was searching for mEq=mg to arrive at an answer but I cant seem to figure this out. Sorry if this is confusing maybe I lack some more details of the actual stock dose.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

1 Article; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

To convert MG into MEQ you need to apply a certain formula. To convert the two of them, you need to use the formula mEq= mg/atomic weight * valence

Nearly all units of measurement can be converted from one form to another. To convert milligrams to milliequivalents multiply the milligrams by the valence of the ions. Next divide the weight of the ions by the result of the multiplication of the milligrams and ions. This should result in the conversion.Osmolarity calculations: equivalents, milliosmoles, osmolarity
If you look up the drug it tells you how many mEq's are in each ml
Bicarbonate 8.4% (1 meq/ml in 50 ml prefilled syringe)

  1. Equivalents of Sodium Bicarbonate (NaHCO3)

    1. Standard bicarb ampule is 50 meq in 50 ml
    2. Equivalent to 8.4 grams/dl or 4.2 grams/50 ml
    3. One ampule = 50 meq = 4.2 grams = 50 mmoles


38 Posts

Thank you so much for everyone's reply :cat:

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