Drip rates are the amount of medicine that should pass through an IV to a patient over a given period of time. It is vital to calculate these drip rates accurately, as too much or too little medicine to a patient could have serious negative effects. Luckily, drip rates are very easy to calculate and require only knowledge of the volume of the medication and the calibration of the IV tubing. Volume of the medicine is measured in units of "cc" and should be indicated on the pouch attached to the IV line. If you do not know the calibration of the tubing and it is not printed on the tubing, ask a doctor before calculating the drip rate.
Multiply the calibration of the IV tubing by the volume of the medication. For example, if an IV medication was stated as being 50cc and the IV tubing had a calibration of 10, you would multiply 50 by 10.
Divide the resulting number by the amount of minutes the medication is supposed to be administered over. Continuing the above example, if the medicine was supposed to be dripped over a 30-minute period, you would divide 500 (50 x 10) by 30.
Round the resulting number to the nearest tenth if the machine does not allow you to program decimals. Set the IV machine to the resulting number, which is measured according to gtt/minute. In the above example, you would set the IV machine to a drip rate of 16.7 or 17 gtt/min if the machine does not allow for decimals.