Jitta, J.N.S., Wafula, E.M., Wasunna, A. The Comatose Child in Paediatric Observation Ward of Kenyatta National Hospital. E Afr Med J 61: 917-924, 1984..
E Afr Med J 61: 917-924. : John Benjamins Publishing Company Abstract
PIP: A study of 125 children aged 0-6 months who were seen at Kenyatta National Hospital for acute diarrhea was conducted between 1982-1983 to determine the benefits of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) in treatment of diarrheal illness. At admission, specimens of stool, blood and urine were collected and examine for bacterial, parasitic, and viral agents (including malaria), serum electrolytes, urea, white cell counts and hematocrit. Children were started on oral rehydration solution (ORS) unless severly dehydrated, in which case intravenous therapy was initiated. 84% of the children were successfully treated with ORS alone regardless of etiological agent found; 15% required IV therapy initially, then were placed on ORS. Average hospital stay was 56.2 hours. Cost of treatment by ORT is less than 20% the cost of IV therapy. When investigators surveyed other health institutions, they found that ORT was used alone in less than 10% of all children seen with diarrhea. A side benefit of ORT is the utilization of mothers in preparation and administration of solution, reducing the demand on hospital staff. Since 20% of all pediatric admissions at Kenyatta are due to acute diarrheal disease, use of ORT would reduce costs tremendously. Initiation of ORT at home may prevent development of dehydration altogether.