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ACTIVITY GUIDE 4 : DOSAGE CALCULATION USING DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS (DA) The most important advantage in using DA is that calculations which would normally require several steps can be simplified in a single equation. DA is not difficult to learn and as we go step by step through its setup you will quickly become comfortable using it. Let’s start by looking at a basic DA equation. A. The Basic DA Equation : You have learned how to read medication labels for both tablets/capsules and parenteral solutions so you will recall that dosages are always expressed in relation to the drug form (tab/cap) or unit of measure (mL) which contains them. Look at some familiar examples: 1 mL/250 mg 1 tab/0.5 g 1.5 mL/300 mcg 2 mL/30,000 U In DA these dosages are called factors and they are entered together in the DA equation as common fractions. For example: 1 mL 1 tab 1.5 mL 2 mL 250 mg 0.5 g 300 mcg 30,000 U The top entries: 1 mL, 1 tab, 1.5 mL and 2 mL are the numerators; the bottom entries: 250 mg, 0.5 g, 300 mcg and 30,000 U are denominators. Entries in a DA equation are called factors and they are entered in the equation as common fractions . When the number of mL, tablets (tab), or capsules (cap) which contain an ordered dosage cannot be calculated mentally, a DA equation can be set up for the calculation by using the drug strength available, for example: 1 mL = 500 mg, and the dosage ordered, for example: 1500 mg. Let’s start by using the particular calculation to illustrate how DA works. Read each step carefully, making sure you include the examples which illustrate each one.
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ACTIVITY GUIDE 4 : DOSAGE CALCULATION USING DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS (DA) (Continued) Example 1 An intramuscular (IM) medication order is for 1500 mg. The solution strength available is 500 mg per mL. How many mL must you prepare to get this dosage?
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  • Spring '16
  • Fraction, ml

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