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Free Water Calculation

Enteral formulas are composed of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, micronutrients, and free water. The majority of the formulation (60-85%) is free water and can be easily calculated.

Example:

  • Formula A is 70% free water
  • Total volume of formula prescribed is 1300 mL
  • Estimated patient fluid needs = 1600 mL per day
  • 1300 mL x 0.70 = 910 mL free water available to meet patient fluid needs
  • 1600 mL – 910 mL = 690 mL additional free water needed to meet 100% estimated fluid needs