Med Math: Drips Question #7


The nurse is caring for a client receiving an infusion of 25,000 units of heparin in 500 mL D5W and is infusing at 32 mL/hr. The physician makes rounds and orders for the flow rate to deliver 1400 units of heparin per hour. How should the flow rate of the current infusion be adjusted?


  1. leave the infusion rate alone as it does not need adjusting
    • Rationale:
  2. flow rate should be decreased by 4 mL/hr to new rate of 28 mL/hr
    • Rationale:
  3. flow rate should be increased by 4 mL/hr to new rate of 36 mL/hr
    • Rationale:
  4. flow rate should be stopped for four hours then restarted to 28 mL/hr
    • Rationale:



Correct response = 25,000 units/500 mL = 1400 units per hr/ x mL = 700,000/25,000 = 28 mL/hr. The current rate is 32 mL/hr and difference between the current and new ordered rate is 4 mL/hr so decrease the flow rate by 4 mL to reflect 28 mL/hr.

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