|MadSci Network: Medicine|
Dirrheoa leads to a loss of water, but not only water. What you actually loose is water and electrolytes (sodium, potassium, bicarbonate). When you treat a patient with severe diarrheoa, you have to act in two directions, i.e. restore the volume of water in the body, and restore the total amount of sodium and other electrolytes. When diarrheoa is severe, especially in chidren, you need an intravenous perfusion to be established. For less severe situations, or when an iv is not available (developing countries), your therapeutic plan should be: - avoidance of any solid food - oral intake of little volumes, frequently given - solution containing glucose (calories) and electrolytes The UNICEF markets a "preconditioned" salt wich is a white powder containing glucose and electrolytes. You just need to add fresh water and have the child drink frequent and little amounts. But fresh water availability is the limit..... You can use (it's very convenient) carbonated solutions marketed almost anywhere on earth (I mean colas). But you need to shake them vigourously to remove bubbles, before ingestion. You were right: colas are useful for rehydratation in diarrheoas (you are sure of bacterial safety), but remember to remove bubbles! Luc Luc A Ronchi, MD Ped Anesthesia Hopital de St Nazaire, France
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