ORS day is observed on July 29, each year to emphasis the significance of oral rehydration salts (ORS) as a cost-effective method in treating several health problems. Acute diarrhoeal condition is one of the leading cause of mortality in infants and countries kids in many. The World Health Organization (WHO) adopted ORS in 1978 as the main strategy to combat diarrhoea and had remarkably lowered the mortality rate of children suffering from acute diarrhoea from 5 million to 1.3 million deaths annually. Also Read: World ORS Day: Learn How Oral Rehydration Salts Can Save Lives
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ORS therapy is highly valued as one of the best and cost-effective way of treating dehydration caused either by severe diarrhoea or heat stroke, burns or any other medical conditions. Diarrhoea causes dehydration and depletion of nutrients, hence it is vital to cater both. Oral rehydration solutions (ORS) replenish fluids and electrolytes and zinc supplements added help to reinstate micronutrients. ORS Jodi (ORS and Zinc) address the immediate dangers caused by diarrhoea and suffice to restore health in a good state.
ORS is a simple live-saving blend of salt and sugar added to pure water given to children suffering from diarrhoea. ORS is recommended by WHO and UNICEF to be used as a safe mode of a treatment plan for dehydration across the globe.
How ORS Works?
ORS contains different types of dry salts and sugar. The combination of electrolytes and sugar enhances water and electrolyte absorption from the stomach, thereby averts or reverses dehydration and replaces lost salts.
Advantages Of ORS
- Easy to use
- Home counterparts are available
- Readily available at primary health centres free of cost
- Needs no sterilization
- More physiological
Different Types of ORS
Low Osmolarity ORS:
It is a type of oral rehydration solution that lowers the incidence of stool by 30% and vomiting by 20%. It is more tolerable by the system as it helps in reducing the amount of glucose and sodium in the solution without any adverse side effects. Moreover, low osmolarity ORS lowers the need for intravenous fluids.
Tri-Sodium Citrate ORS:
This type of ORS with citrate is beneficial in treating acidosis, which often develops with dehydration. Trisodium citrate enhances the intestines capacity to absorb more sodium and water. Glucose added in this ORS solution mainly help in the absorption of sodium and not as a source of fuel. It has a longer shelf life and highly recommended ORS therapy by WHO and UNICEF. Also Read: Dehydration: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Rice bases ORS is particularly helpful in patients with a high purging caused due to cholera. It significantly reduces the stool output by 40% due to diarrhoea or cholera and offers more glucose to counteract the loss of glucose together with carbs. It is also the most widely accepted type of ORS in some parts of the globe. Studies have also revealed that other variety of starch like maize and wheat may also render similar results, without increasing the osmolarity of the solution.
Home Based ORS
Home-based ORS works as the first line of preventive solution recommended to any patients who exhibits mild signs of dehydration. This solution is highly effective in preventing dehydration and maintains the nutritional status by restoring fluid balance and food intake. Furthermore, this helps the patients in not losing excess amounts of fluids before getting proper medical care.
Super ORS are special kinds of ORS where instead of mono sugars it comprises of more complex sugars and trace amounts of zinc. It may be food-based such as rice or starch-free like glycine/ alanine based or glucose polymer-based. Some of the benefits of using Super ORS includes it improves rehydration, lessen stool frequency and duration, offer more nutritional support, helps in gaining weight, prevent secondary disaccharide intolerance, replenishes fluid balance and strengthens the immune system.