Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) is a simple, effective remedy for dehydration or diarrhoel diseases.
It was an oral form of saline.
In India, July 29 is observed as ORS Day.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO),diarrhoeal diseases, such as cholera, are among the leading causes of mortality in infants and young children in many developing countries, where the patient dies of dehydration.
ORS, a combination of water, glucose and salts, is a simple and cost-effective method of preventing diarrhoeal diseases.
The oral solution consisted of:
22 gm glucose (as commercial monohydrate),
3.5 gm sodium chloride (as table salt),
2.5 gm sodium bicarbonate (as baking soda) per liter of water.
Oral rehydration is the mainstay of treatment for diarrhoeal diseases in children.
Before the use of ORT, the only treatment was intravenous fluid infusion, which was neither cost-effective nor easy.
Due to Dr Mahalanabis’s persistent efforts, ORT was made a household name.
Even untrained people can administer ORS and keep the crisis in check till the patient is admitted to the hospital.
Usage: It contains electrolytes in right proportions and is given to babies and adults suffering from diarrhoea.
India Government Guidelines for the usage of ORS
The Union Health Ministry has popularised guidelines on preparing and using ORS available in powder form at health centres and chemists.
The guidelines, available at the India Health Portal site, advise that contents of the ORS packet should be mixed with the correct amount of water in a clean container.
The National Health Portal gives a step-by-step guide to preparing formulation at home as well.
“The home-made solution is adequate in most cases and is very effective for rehydration,” the National Health Portal says.
The ORS solution should be covered and not kept for more than 24 hours, due to the risk of bacterial contamination, the portal says.
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