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In children with moderate dehydration, oral rehydration reduced ED stay and staff time compared with intravenous rehydration

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 QUESTION: Is oral rehydration therapy (ORT) as effective as intravenous therapy (IVT) for moderate dehydration in children with acute gastroenteritis?

Design

Randomised (unclear allocation concealment*), blinded (data collectors),* controlled trial with follow up 2–4 days after discharge.

Setting

A paediatric emergency department (ED) in an urban public hospital in Bronx, New York, USA.

Patients

34 previously healthy children aged 3 months to 17 years (mean age 5 y, 55% girls) who had signs and symptoms of acute gastroenteritis for <1 week and met ≥4 standard criteria for moderate dehydration. Exclusion criteria were chronic illness, severe dehydration or shock, protracted vomiting, absent bowel sounds, no accompanying guardian or contact telephone number, and requirement of intravenous access for reasons other than hydration. All patients were included in the analysis.

Intervention

18 children allocated to ORT were given a commercial oral electrolyte solution by their parent …

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