IV Flow Rate calculation question

Students General Students


Can anyone provide some help in calculating the following question:

ordered: D5W IV at 120 mL/hr. Available d5W 1000 mL, gravity device with 10 drops/mL. What is the flow rate the nurse will set?


171 Posts

Specializes in E.R..

okay, let me try and help.

First take 1000(total amount) divided by 120(120/hr)= 8.3, rounded to 8 hrs to run the whole bag in.

second step- take 8 hrs multiply by 60 = 480 minutes

third step- 1000(amount to be infused) multiplied by 10(drop factor)= 10000

fourth step- 10,000 divided by 480 minutes(from step 2)

answer 20.8 rounded to 21 drops/min.

I think this is right, but wait to see what others get for an answer.

Specializes in Critical Care.

You're overthinking. The problem as provided does not address or seek to address how long the bag takes to finish.

120 mL per hour * 10 drops per mL = 1200 drops per hour.

1200 drops per hour / 60 minutes = 20 drops per minute.


171 Posts

Specializes in E.R..

Thank you hypocaffeinemia, I didn't know if I was doing it right, so thank you for letting me know that I was digging too deep. I have a tendency to do that ;)


32 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Chemical Dependency, Rehab.

Ok....its been a minute since I've had to do this, but I got the same answer.

Flow Rate = 120 mL/hour

Drop Factor = 10gtt/mL

Flow Rate X Drop Factor = Drip Rate

120mL/60min X 10gtt/mL = 1200gtt/60min = 20gtt/min

Drip Rate = 20gtt/min


3 Posts

I think you can find a tutorial on this stuff for free, if I remember correctly on Nancy Kimmel's blog mynursingedu.com

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