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Medicine and Mathematics, a selection of answers from the Dr. Math archives.

Doctors and Math
How do doctors use math?

Volume to be Infused by Drip Factor
A patient is to receive 1440 milliliters of fluid in 24 hours. The drip factor is 15 drops per milliliter. How many drops per minute should the patient receive?

Administering Insulin
If a doctor prescribes 30 units of insulin in 500 ml to be administered over 2 hours, how many drops per minute should be administered if the set is calibrated to deliver 20 drops per ml?

Lung Cancer and Smoking
Medical researchers know that the probability of getting lung cancer if a person smokes is .34. The probability that a nonsmoker will get lung cancer is .03. If 11% of the population smokes, what is the probability that a person with lung cancer will have been a smoker?

Probability and Genetics - Huntington's Disease
I am doing a math paper on Huntington's Disease. What does probability have to do with genetics?

Probability of Infection
How many of six hermits can be expected, on average, to get a disease, assuming the disease is transmitted until an infectious hermit visits an immune hermit, and assuming one hermit visit per day?

Test for Tuberculosis
A test for tuberculosis was given to 1000 subjects, 8 percent of whom were known to have tuberculosis... what is the probability of a randomly selected person having tuberculosis...?

Calculating Breast Cancer Survival Rates
Survival of a group of breast cancer patients is 100 at year 0, 100*X at year 1, 100*X*X at year 2, 100*X*X*X at year three and so on to year 10. How do I find the nth year survival?

Counting Bacteria with Calculus
The number of bacteria in a culture increases from 3000 to 9000 in 8 hours. If the rate of increase is proportional to the number present, estimate the number of bacteria at the end of 24 hours.

and visit Mathematics Awareness Month 2002, Mathematics and the Genome, with theme essays:

Mathematics and the Genome

Microarrays, Mathematics, and Medicine

and Mathematics Awareness Week 1994:

Mathematics and Medicine - Math Forum

Theme essay

For information about how math is used in technology, in particular environmental health and occupational health, see:

Exactly How Is Math Used In Technology? - Mathematics Department of the British Columbia Institute of Technology

and see:

Proportional Reasoning by Nurses - Annie and John Selden

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