MedCalc Review

MedCalc is a program for the Palm OS that makes computing complicated formulas a little easier. The program contains 66 medical formulas that calculate anything from the absolute neutrophil count to water deficit to corrected serum calcium.

MedCalc can be used by anyone in the medical profession, but seems to be geared to medical residents and critical care nurses. Medical residents will likely find the formulas for corrected calcium, corrected sodium and corrected phenytoin very useful. I have often seen these formulas written out in the progress notes and MedCalc makes these calculations easy to figure out. Another calculation I have often seen the medical team use is the anion gap formula, which is easily figured in MedCalc.

Critical Care nurses will most likely enjoy using the Infusion Management formula. This is a formula used to calculate the dose or the rate of IV drips. Within the Infusion Management formula, there is a folder that will store the drugs you add to it along with the standard mix that you input. For example, if your institution always mixes 400 mg of dopamine in 250cc D5W, you can store it this way. Then whenever you select dopamine from your drug list, this will be the default concentration. To calculate the rate or the dose, you enter the patients weight (if used), then the dose desired (to calculate the rate), or the rate the patient is receiving (to calculate the dose). This is one of many formulas that nurses will find useful. Also included in this program is the Parkland fluid replacement for burns as well as a few pediatric formulas.

Another feature of MedCalc is that for each formula listed, there is detailed information that includes the actual formula, it's clinical use and a reference. This can be obtained by tapping the "i" that is in the upper right hand corner of each formula. Overall, I think MedCalc can be very useful to those in the medical and nursing profession. Nurses in almost every specialty will find a formula that they will use frequently. The program uses 204 K of memory.

Rosalie Brian RN BSN CCRN

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