IV Flow Rate Calculation

IV flow rate calculations determine the flow rate of solution administered over a given time. This is normally expressed as mL/Hr or mL/min. However, you should also know how to determine how much volume would be administered using time and rate.

The flow-rate calculation below is determining how long it would take to deliver a volume at a particular rate.

A physician orders a drug to be infused at:10mcg/kg/min. The patient weighs 70kg. The total dose the patient is to receive is 21mg. How long must the IV continue for the patient to receive this dose?

1) First, we know we want to solve for time.

Volume ÷ Rate = Time

2) Next, figure out each factor.

Volume = 21mg

      Rate = 10mcg/kg/min - (patient is 70kg)

      Time = Minutes

Do your conversions and Math.

      Volume = 21,000mcg

      Rate =
(10mcg)(70kg)/min = 700 mcg/min

      Time = Minutes

4) Calculate your answer using the formula.

      Volume ÷ Rate = Time

      21,000  ÷ 700   =   30 Minutes

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