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Dimensional Analysis for Meds: Refocusing on Essential Metric Calculations: Refocusing on Essential Metric Calculations 6th Edition

Dimensional Analysis for Meds: Refocusing on Essential Metric Calculations: Refocusing on Essential Metric Calculations 6th Edition PDF

Author: Anna M. Curren

Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning


Publish Date: February 17, 2022

ISBN-10: 1284248623

Pages: 300

File Type: Epub

Language: English

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Book Preface

A preface is an introduction written by an author to explain her or his text’s content. I welcome the opportunity to do this for the sixth edition of Dimensional Analysis for Meds.

The most important content in this edition remains Chapter 1, Introduction to the Metric System, the system in which 98% of dosages are ordered. Concentrating heavily on common metric dosages, while not forgetting the other measures that are less frequently ordered, the text starts by providing many one-step dosages that can be calculated mentally. These include both oral and parenteral (injectable) solution dosages. Detailed instruction in hypodermic syringe measurements is provided to allow real-life measurement of calculated parenteral dosages.

The decision to teach dimensional analysis as the ONLY calculation method is deliberate, because it is the only method that reduces multiple-step clinical calculations to a single, easy-to-solve equation. Manual refresher math is limited to that which is specifically required for dimensional analysis. Calculator use throughout the text is recommended. The bulk of dosage-related calculations of necessity must and will be learned in clinical practice following graduation. In this edition everything necessary to make the transition to clinical learning has been covered.

This edition has a second dominating focus: the elimination of all content unrelated to the specific objectives of basic math instruction. As an author, I plead guilty to unrealistically seeking to include everything possible in clinical math concepts, even when it took the content beyond basic objectives. A primary example was to include dosage calculations that are the sole responsibility of pharmacists and physicians. The renewed focus on basic math instruction in this edition has resulted in a smaller text than the fifth edition, and we are proud of eliminating so much unnecessary content. Essential learnings in refresher math and clinical calculations do not require a 2- to 2.5-inch-thick text. Several such oversized texts are currently in publication, and we hope that other authors will follow our lead and reduce content to only that which is absolutely necessary.

The majority of drugs, both in the clinical hospital setting and at your local pharmacy, are measured in metric dosages. Milligrams, abbreviated mg, will be a familiar dosage strength.

The metric system was invented in France in 1875 as the Systeme International (SI). Both the U.S. and Canada legislated the metric system in 1975, but only Canada went totally metric. The result is that the U.S. still uses gallons for volume, miles rather than kilometers for distance, and pounds and ounces instead of grams for weight.

Thankfully, however, the metric system was widely adopted very early in clinical medicine, and it is such a logical system that you are going to find it very easy to learn and use.

-The metric is a decimal system, in which all units of measure for weight, volume, and length relate to each other.

The fact that the metric is a decimal system is incredibly important in dosage calculations because dosages can be changed from one measure to the next simply by moving a decimal point. However, anything involving decimals raises a red flag for caution, and we will address that necessity.

-Both the U.S. and Canadian monetary systems of dollars and cents are decimal systems.

So, since you know how to count money, you already know how to recognize the value of decimal numbers in drug dosages. That said, a quick refresher in the relative value of decimal numbers seen in dosages is the logical place to start your introduction to the metric system.



Letter for the Learner

Instructor Guidelines


SECTION 1The Metric System and Additional Drug Measures

CHAPTER 1The Metric System in Clinical Medicine


Relative Value of Decimal Numbers

Basic Units of the Metric System

Metric Prefixes

Metric Abbreviations

Metric Notation Rules

Conversion Between Metric Measures

Converting Metric Measures


Summary Self-Test

CHAPTER 2Additional Drug Measures: Units, Percentage, Milliequivalent, Ratio, and Household Measures


International Units (units)

Percentage (%)

Milliequivalent (mEq)


Household Measures


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 2Oral Medications, Labels, One Step and Math Dosage Calculations

CHAPTER 3Introduction to Oral Medications, Dosage Labels, and Calculations

Introduction: Types of Oral Medications

Types of Tablets and Capsules

Tablet and Capsule Labels

Tablet and Capsule Dosage Calculation

Oral Solution Dosage Calculation

Administration of Oral Medications


Summary Self-Test

CHAPTER 4Basic Math Review


Common-Fraction Math

Expressing to the Nearest Tenth

Expressing to the Nearest Hundredth

Common-Fraction Equations

Equations Containing Decimal Fractions

Multiple-Number Equations


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 3Safe Medication Administration

CHAPTER 5Safe Medication Administration


The Six Rights of Medication Administration

Medication Administration Abbreviations

Common Medication Errors

Errors in Writing Metric Dosages

Action Steps When Errors Occur


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 4Parenteral Dosage Measurement in Hypodermic Syringes

CHAPTER 6Hypodermic Syringe Measurement


Standard 3 mL Syringe

Tuberculin (TB) Syringe

5 mL and 10 mL Syringes

20 mL and Larger Syringes


Summary Self-Test

CHAPTER 7Parenteral Dosage Calculation and Measurement


Parenteral Medications Using Metric Measures

Parenteral Medications Percentage (%) Measures

Parenteral Medications Measured as Ratios

Parenteral Medications Measured in Units

Medications Measured in Milliequivalents (mEq)


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 5Dimensional Analysis (DA) in Clinical Calculations

CHAPTER 8Introduction to Dimensional Analysis


Clinical Ratios

Single-Step DA Equations

Calculations Requiring Metric Conversions


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 6Intravenous Therapy (IV) and Flow Rate Calculation

CHAPTER 9Introduction to IV Therapy

Primary Line

Secondary IV Line

Volume-Controlled Burettes

Peripheral Infusion Ports

IV Port Flushes

Electronic/Volumetric Infusion Pumps

Syringe Pumps

Patient-Controlled Analgesia (PCA) Devices

Introduction to Percentages in IV Solutions

Percentages in IV Solutions

Parenteral Nutrition


Summary Self-Test

CHAPTER 10IV Flow Rate Calculations


IV Tubing Calibration

Reduction of IV Volume Numbers Ending in Zeros

Calculating gtt/min IV Flow Rates

The Formula Method for gtt/min Flow Rate Calculation

The Division Factor Method for gtt/min Flow Rate Calculation

Microdrip IV Set Calculations

Counting and Regulating Flow Rates

Adjusting Flow Rates


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 7IV Medication and Titration Calculations

CHAPTER 11IV Medication and Titration Calculations


Calculating mL/hr Rate for Dosage Ordered

Calculating mL/hr Rate for Dosage per kg Ordered

IV Titration Calculations


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 8Insulin and Heparin Administration

CHAPTER 12Measuring Insulin Dosages


Types of Insulin

Insulin Label Identification

Insulin Action Times

Insulin Syringes

Combining Insulin Dosages

Insulin Injection Sites and Techniques

Insulin Pumps for Type 1 Diabetes


Summary Self-Test

CHAPTER 13Heparin Subcutaneous Injection and IV Infusion


Heparin Vial Labels

Calculating mL/hr Flow Rates for units/hr Ordered

Calculating units/hr Infusing from mL/hr Flow Rate

Heparin Flush Dosage


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 9Reconstitution of Powdered Drugs

CHAPTER 14Reconstitution of Powdered Drugs


Reconstitution of a Single-Strength Solution

Reconstitution Using Drug Package Inserts

Reconstitution of Multiple-Strength Solutions


Summary Self-Test

SECTION 10Body Weight and Body Surface Area in Dosage Calculation

CHAPTER 15Dosage Based on Body Weight and Body Surface Area (BSA)


Measuring Body Weight

Converting lb to kg

Converting kg to lb

Calculating Dosages Based on Body Weight from Dosage Labels

Dosage Based on Body Surface Area (BSA)

Formula for Calculating BSA from kg and cm

Formula for Calculating BSA from lb and inches

Use of BSA to Calculate Dosages


Summary Self-Test

APPENDIXISMP’s List of Error-Prone Abbreviations, Symbols, and Dose Designations


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