oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Serum electrolytes in children admitted with diarrhoeal dehydration managed with simple salt sugar solution

Volume 33, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



A study was carried out in the Paediatric Hydration Unit at Harare Central Hospital to assess the type and prevalence of electrolyte abnormalities in dehydrated children who had previously been managed with oral salt sugar solution for acute gastroenteritis. One hundred and twenty-one such referred patients had their serum urea and electrolytes estimated on admission prior to further management in the Unit; 38 (27,5%) cases of hypokalaemia, 12 (8,9%) of hypernatraemia, 5 (5,5%) of hypoatraemia and 65 (45,7%) of severe acidosis (bicarbonate level < 10 mmol/l) were documented. It is concluded that simple salt sugar solution is ideal for the prevention of dehydration but in cases of established dehydration the WHO complete formula is more appropriate for combating hypokalaemia and severe metabolic acidosis.

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