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Oral rehydration therapy: a lesson from the developing world
  1. S Messahel1,
  2. T Hussain2
  1. 1
    Mersey Deanery, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2
    Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow, UK
  1. Tarique Hussain, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, Glasgow, UK; tarique{at}doctors.org.uk

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Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is the best treatment for rehydrating patients with acute infectious diarrhoea and its use has reduced childhood mortality worldwide.1 Despite this, and despite better resources, success with oral rehydration is lower in developed countries, which have a higher frequency of intravenous fluid administration.2 This may be either due to different aetiology or because we are worse at using oral rehydration effectively. The aim of our study was to assess current professional conventions and attitudes surrounding oral rehydration in England and identify any incorrect but easily remedied practices.

We conducted a telephone questionnaire study. A total of 109 units in England with acute admitting paediatric inpatient facilities were contacted and the most senior paediatric nurse available completed the …

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