# 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

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

Joined: Jan '17; Posts: 856; Likes: 970

3. 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. From the viewpoint of solving these problems, equivalents (mEq) can be treated the same as mass (mg).
5. Thank you both!
6. 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.