**Med Math** **-** **How do we measure the right dose of a medication?**

### Let's start with the things that we measure

**We measure things by weight, length, and volume using one of three systems**

•1. Household system

• 2. Apothecary system

•3. Metric system

** When measuring pills and liquid medication we use the metric system **

The metric system is made up of grams, milligram, microgram for weight and milliliters (or cubic centimeters) for liquid volume

**When dosing pills we measure in grams, milligrams or micrograms!**

** •A gram (GM) is a large amount for medication**. For example we might give

one gram of tylenol

** A gram can be broken up into smaller amounts called Milligrams (mg). **

** **

** IT TAKES 1000 MILLIGRAMS TO EQUAL 1 GRAM**

**• Milligrams (mg) makes up a Gram (GM)**

**• Many** medications are measured in milligrams. Medication doses can go

From .5 milligram to 1000 milligram. For example Tylenol comes in 365 mg

and 500mg and 1000mg

A milligram can be broken up into even smaller amounts called** micrograms**

** **

** IT TAKES 1000 MICROGRAMS TO EQUAL 1 MILLIGRAM (mgm)**

**• It takes 1000 Microgram (mcg) to make up one milligram**

**• ** A microgram is a very small amount. Only very powerful medications are measured in

micrograms

**Liquid medications are extra special**

**When dosing liquid medication, we still measure in grams, milligrams or micrograms but **

** we also have to think about milliliters (ml) and ** cubic **centimetre (cc)**

A liquid medication is measured in

milliliters(ml) which is the same as cubic

centimeters (CC)

For example: liquid Tylenol is still dosed in milligrams but is given in

Milliliters (ML) or Cubic Centimeters (CC).

This can be confusing !!!

•For example – if you wanted to give 320 mg of a liquid medication that was made up of 160mg mixed up in 5 ml– how much would you give? 10 cc because

there is 160mg in 5ml and there is 320 mg in 10 ml

** How do we measure liquid medication? **

•We have to use something special to measure liquid medication.

•We can not use teaspoons or tablespoon to measure liquids because it is not an accurate measurement - We have to use either a dropper or a medication cup.

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