Oral Rehydration Therapy ORT?
ORT is the giving of fluid by mouth to prevent and/or correct the
dehydration that is a result of diarrhoea. As soon as diarrhoea begins, treatment using
home remedies to prevent dehydration must be started. If adults or children have not been
given extra drinks, or if in spite of this dehydration does occur, they must be treated
with a special drink made with oral rehydration salts (ORS) . The formula for ORS
recommended by WHO and UNICEF contains:
- 3.5 gms sodium chloride
- 2.9 gms trisodium citrate dihydrate (or 2.5 gms sodium bicarbonate)
- 1.5 gms potassium chloride
- 20 gms glucose (anhydrous)
The above ingredients are dissolved in one litre of clean water. WHO has
recently recommended a change in the complete formula, replacing 2.5 gms of sodium
bicarbonate with 2.9 gms of trisodium citrate dihydrate. The new formula gives the packets
a longer shelf life and is at least as effective in correcting acidosis and reducing stool
volume. Packets containing sodium bicarbonate are still safe and effective.