Charolotte Cooper & Jean Montgomery, Austin Community College
After the completion of this module you will be able to:
- Calculate flow rates in gtts/min and mL/hr based on dosage per body weight.
- Calculate flow rate for a specific drug ordered.
- Calculate dosages using mg/kg and mcg/kg
Many of the drugs used in critical care areas effect physiologic functions: heart rate, cardiac output, blood pressure, respirations, and renal function. In general these drugs have a rapid onset and a short duration. Some of these drugs are administered on a sliding scale to elicit a physiologic response. In other words, the healthcare provider must change the flow rate of the drug from time to time depending on how the patient is responding. This rate adjustment is known as titration. The healthcare provider must constantly monitor the patient's vital signs in order to titrate the dose (rate of administration) of a drug correctly.
Patients who are critically ill typically receive drugs that are dosed in:
SAFETY ALERT: Incorrect dosing can cause catastrophic problems including death. To safeguard against incorrect dosing healthcare providers should:
- Double check computations
- Back solve all computations
- Concur with a work colleague
Healthcare providers take these precautions when these IV infusions are initiated and when titration changes are necessary.