Calculating IV Drip Rates easy

The nurses can be intimidated by the math that occurs in everyday practice. Patient safety have the highest priority in hospital care and depends on the practitioner’s ability to calculate medications correctly and in a timely manner.

The hospital system is often challenged by the lack of enough infusion pumps to treat patients. Therefore, a standard IV set with roller clamp is often used. This means that it’s the nurse’s job and responsibility to recalculate and set the manual IV set so that the patient receives the right amount of medication over the correct time.

What to do if you have to give an intravenous treatment and don’t have an infusion pump?

Many wards have only a few infusion pumps available and therefore have to use standard infusion sets with roller clamp.

How to convert a prescription from ml/hour to drops in minutes?

The volume of a drop is not well defined: it depends on the device and technique used to produce the drop, on the strength of the gravitational field, and on the viscosity, density, and the surface tension of the liquid.

In medicin, IV drips deliver 10, 15, 20 or 60 drops per ml.

The European standart IV set is 20 drops/ml. The infusion set is marked with:


How to calculate the rate of an intravenous IV drop.

Volume to be given = xx ml

Time = xx minuts/hours
How fast an infusion should be given.

Drop Factor = xx gtts/ml
The abbreviations gtts come from the Latin noun gutta = drop.
The drop is an approximated unit of measure of volume, the amount dispensed as one drop from a drip chamber. It is used in giving quantities of liquid drugs to patients.


A patient should receive 100 ml of antibiotics over 30 min.
How many drops are there per minute?

Volume to be given = 100 ml

Time = 30 minuts

Drop Factor = 20 gtts/ml
(The European standart IV)

See the calculation below:

In conclusion, the patient should have
66.67 drops per minute in a European standard IV set.

Is there an easier way to infuse?

If it’s complicated to calculate the infusion and adjusting the standard iv set with roller clamp, is there another solution?

Dripmate is a an easy and accurate regulator for intravenous infusion. The regulator increases safety and quality of intravenous treatment. It is easy to operate and economical in use.
Read more about Dripmate