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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Diarrhea: Fluid replacement therapy, ORS- Oral rehydration solution,

ORS / ORT- Oral rehydration solution / Oral rehydration therapy: 

A very simple therapy in acute watery diarrhea. It is easily available and cheap but very effective, and can be administered even in the management of potentially lethal conditions like cholera.

The volume of fluid replacement required is estimated based on the following consideration:
1. Replacement of established deficit:

After 48 hours of moderate diarrhea (6-10 stools per 24 hours) the average adult will be 1-2L depleted from diarrhea alone. The volume will be more if there is associated vomiting. The patient should be given rapid replacement of 1-1.5L either by ORS or intravenous infusion (normal saline) within the first 2-4 hours of presentation.

If more sever diarrhea is present then active medical intervention is required as it is a metabolic emergency.

2. Replacement of ongoing losses:
An average adult will lose about 200 ml of isotonic fluid with each diarrheal stool. So with every passage of diarrheal stool he has to be given 200 ml of ORS.

3. Replacement of normal daily requirement:

The average adult requires about 1-1.5L of fluid in addition to the calculation above. This will be increased substantially in fever or a hot environment


Note: Need ORS packet? Clik here to know how to make one or
Click the link to buy Adventure Medical Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) from Amazon.

Click to read about the composition of ORS.

Note: In the making of the above article, following books were used:

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