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What is ORS?

What is ORS?

  • July 30, 2019

India is a country which faces a rapid increase in acute diarrhea among young children. Surveys have indicated that children below 5 years were the most vulnerable to acute diarrhea and dehydration induced deaths. Diarrhea and dehydration both can be prevented by making sure that enough salts and minerals are taken in. For this, an ORS solution is the best.

ORS contains a variety of salts and minerals (electrolytes) and sugar. These salts help in replacing the ones lost during dehydration and helps in hydrating the body. ORS powders are available for purchase or you can simply prepare them at home.

WHO defines Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) as “The administration of fluid by mouth to prevent or correct the dehydration that is a consequence of diarrhea”. This fluid consists of a special mixture of water, glucose and salts which help to replenish the lost electrolytes and water and bring it back to normal levels. ORT is an effective treatment method to manage dehydration and a powerful alternative to intravenous therapy.

How Can You Prepare ORS at Home?

The following are needed to prepare ORS at home:

1 litre of Clean Water
Sugar – 6 Teaspoons
Salt – Half a Teaspoon

Now, stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. The homemade solution is
adequate for solving dehydration problems if prepared the right way. Avoid adding too much sugar as it can worsen diarrhoea problems. If you aren’t too sure about preparing ORS at home, visit a pharmacy nearby and grab an ORS powder or ORS Drink.

How ORS Works?

Rapid evacuation of fluids from the body, which can be caused by cholera or diarrhoea diseases, may lead to chronic dehydration and eventually death. Oral Rehydration Salts are a solution of sugars and salts which helps to slow the evacuation of fluids, allowing for the absorption of electrolytes in the intestines which gives birth to the Oral Rehydration Treatment.

Importance of ORS

First, ORS is extremely cost effective. Compared to traditional IV therapy, ORS costs just a few rupees. This makes ORS much easier to deploy in major humanitarian crises and more patients can be treated. Additionally, ORS can be formulated and administered at home as soon as symptoms appear.

Instead of going to a hospital for IV treatment, which may already be difficult for patients in developing countries, rehydration can begin right away. Finally, ORS is non-invasive; it doesn’t require needles, which can lead to infection if not administered properly. Plus, it doesn’t require guidance to administer.

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