Podcast #123:  Pediatric Oral Rehydration Therapy - The Emergency Medical Minute

Podcast #123:  Pediatric Oral Rehydration Therapy

Run Timpediatric-electrolyte-oral-rehydration-solution-unflavoured-1-l-600x600e: 3 minutes

Author: Christopher Holmes M.D.

Educational Pearls:

  • For children with mild gastroenteritis, one option for treatment is oral rehydration therapy. This is ubiquitously used for children in third world countries as a staple therapy.
  • A group in Canada, looked at 647 patients. Half were given half strength apple juice and half were given electrolyte solutions for treatment. The therapy was considered a failure if the patients had to – get an IV in 7 days, had greater than 3% dehydration, had an unscheduled visit, or were admitted to the hospital within 7 days.
  • They found 16.5% of patient’s therapy failed with the half strength apple juice and 25% of patient’s therapy failed with the electrolyte solution.
  • While the electrolyte solution is theoretically superior for rehydration, it tastes significantly worse than the half strength apple juice. This could possibly lead to less fluids consumed and less hydration for the patient.
  • Half strength apple juice represents a great and potentially more efficacious alternative to electrolyte solutions in some pediatric populations.

References:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27131100

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