Urgent! IV drip rate?



I am having a really hard time answering this particular question because of the mEq.

So the question is:

The order states to add 50mEq of KCL to 100mL of NS and run it at 10mEq per hour. The administration set is a microdrip. What would you set the drip rate at per minute?

I know that a microdrip is 60gtts/mL.

But I don't know what to do with the three other values (50mEq, 100mL, and 10mEq/hr) into an equation! I tried a dimensional analysis but I'm just even more confused.

Apparently the answer is 20gtts/min, but no matter what I do, I can't get the answer. I feel pretty stupid, please help me! and thank you

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.

A microdrip is 60 gtts/ mL not per minute. I think there is your error


31 Posts

This isn't going to help you on your test, but in real life, in all the hospitals I've worked at I've only seen 10 meq of k in 100 ml of ns to be run over one hour. The only other way I've seen iv k is 20 meq in 1000 ml of ns/ .45 ns/ d5


77 Posts

A microdrip is 60 gtts/ mL not per minute. I think there is your error

Ooops, it was a typo. I meant to say gtts/mL. Please can you help me.


1,761 Posts

Specializes in Neuro, Telemetry. Has 8 years experience.

Your ratio is 50mEq/100 mL and you need to infuse 10mEq/h, microdrip is 60gtt/mL.

You can use dimensional analysis or an equation with that infro.

Try to set up the equation with that info and if you cant get the right answer, then at least we can all see where you went wrong and correct it.


77 Posts

[50mEq/100mL] = [10mEq/hr]

= 20mL/hr

gtt/mL = 60gtt/1mL x 20mL/1hr x 1hr/60min = 1200gtt/60min = 20gtt/min

Did I do it right?

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Backing off from the equation part for a sec, look at the elements first. You have 50mEq to give at 10mEq per hour. Regardless of what the total in the bag with the 50mEq in it is, you should be able to see that you would give one fifth of it in an hour, right?

So really, all you need to know is how fast to run your IV to give one fifth of it (in this case, 20cc) per hour. 20cc/hour. HINT: EVERY time you use micro drip tubing, that is, 60gtts=1cc, gtts/minute ALWAYS = cc/hour. :)

Specializes in LTC and Pediatrics. Has 3 years experience.

I would do it this way:

60 gtts/1ml x 100 ml/50 mEq x 10mEq/1hr x 1 hr/60 min x 1/x gtt = 20 gtts in 1 min.

you have the drip factor, then what you have and what you need.

This is how I was taught, though I know others learn it differently. The unit that is on the bottom of the fraction, goes to the top of the next one.