The aim of oral fluid therapy is to prevent dehydration and reduce mortality.
The mainstay of treatment of diarrheal diseases in children is the use of oral re–hydrating solutions. It was introduced by WHO in 1971. It has greatly simplified the treatment of cholera and other acute diarrheal diseases. The majority of cases of acute diarrhea can be treated by oral fluid alone.
Oral fluid therapy is based on the observation that glucose given orally enhances the intestinal absorption of salt and water, and is capable of correcting the electrolyte and water deficit.
Composition of ORS – bicarbonate
|Potable Water||1 litre|
The inclusion of trisodium citrate in the place of sodium bicarbonate can make the product more stable. Packets of oral re–hydration mixture are now freely available at all primary health centers, sub–centers and hospitals.
Guidelines for oral rehydration therapy (for all ages) during the first four hours.
|Age||Under 4 months||4–11 months||12–23 months||2–4 years||5–14 years||15 yrs or over|
|Weight||under 5||5–7.9||8–10.9||11–15.9||16–29.9||30 or over|
|ORS solution (ml)||200–400||400–600||600–800||800–1.200||1.200–2.200||2.200–4.000|
The approximate amount of ORS required in ml may also be calculated by multiplying the patient’s weight (expressed in kg) by 75. In children, the amount of fluid to be given is based on the weight of the child.