b. From the infusion set, you will learn how many drops per ml the set is capable
of providing. You must determine how many drops per minute are required in order to
set this delivery rate on the infusion set. The formula for determining the drip rate is
Flow rate in
Volume (in ml)
Drops per ml delivered
drops per minute =
to be infused X by the set you are using
Infusion time in minutes
3-13. EXPLANATION OF DRIP RATE FORMULA
The above formula can be used by following these steps.
a. Multiply the number of ml to be infused (ordered by the physician) by the
drops per ml delivered by the set you are using (shown on the infusion set).
b. Multiply the hours of infusion time (ordered by the physician) by 60 minutes.
c. Divide the answer in step number one by the answer in step number two.
This answer will be the flow rate.
3-14. EXAMPLE OF A DRIP RATE CALCULATION
Let us use an example to illustrate this process. The physician has ordered you
to infuse 2000 ml of normal saline. The fluid is to be infused over eight hours. Your
infusion set delivers 15 drops per milliliter. How many drops per minute should be
a. Multiply 2000 ml by 15 drops per ml. Answer: 30,000 drops.
b. Multiply 8 hours by 60 minutes. Answer: 480 minutes.
c. Divide 30,000 by 480. Answer: 62 drops per minute.