The paper describes the first controlled trial of an oral glucose electrolyte solution designed on the basis of the optimum pathophysiological needs for rehydration in infantile diarrahoea. The solution, having a sodium concentration of 50 mmol/l, was tried in a group of 20 infants with moderate to severe dehydration due to acute diarrhoea and was compared with a matched group of 19 infants predominantly under 2 years of age taking a 'standard' oral solution with a sodium concentration of 90 mmol/l. They could be hydrated as well with a low sodium oral solution alone as with the standard solution. Intravenous fluid was not required in either group. The group treated with the high soldium 'standard' solution appeared to develop hypernatraemia and/or periorbital oedema more frequently than the other group. Also, the low sodium solution eliminated the need for additional free water orally.
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