ORS day is observed on July 29 every year to create awareness about the importance of Oral Rehydration Salts, in saving millions of young lives. Established by the Indian Academy Of Pediatrics in 2001, with an intention aimed at lowering the cases childhood diarrhea deaths, ORS day is now observed across the country.
Acute childhood diarrhea is one of the leading causes of mortality among young children. ORS, the cost-effective, simple and easiest medical intervention on an average saves 5,00,000 young lives every year in our country.
ORS therapy is believed to be one of the biggest groundbreaking medical innovations of the 20th century. ORS can be given to treat any case of dehydration caused either by severe diarrhea or heat stroke or any other illness which results in loss of fluids.
According to WHO diarrhea is defined as a passage of three or more loose stools per day. It is a symptom of gastrointestinal infection. Diarrhea is caused due to poor sanitation and hygiene that can result in severe dehydration. It lasts for several days and deprives the body water and minerals required for survival.
Dehydration caused due to diarrhea can be prevented by rehydrating lost fluids or can be treated by effectively providing glucose electrolyte solution called Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) or solution. Another effective formulation is ORS Jodi (ORS and Zinc) that helps in treating dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea.
ORS solution comprises a blend of electrolytes (salts) and sugar. The right proportion of electrolytes and sugar improves water and balances the electrolyte absorption from the intestine. It is available in powder form in sachets and can also be made easily at home as well.
ORS can be taken by the patients as and much required, however, it is recommended to have 200-300ml of ORS after every episode of loose stools.
Preparation Of Readymade ORS Drink
Empty the ORS sachet in a clean container, add enough water as per the instructions. Adding less water can worsen the condition.
Never add ORS powder to milk, soup, fruit juices or any other drinks.
Do not add salt
Mix well and sip the drink often.
Preparation Of ORS At Home
Oral rehydration solutions can be very well prepared at home and in most cases, it is an effective way for rehydration. Make sure you combine the right proportion of ingredients. Too much sugar can worsen diarrhea and excess salts can be dangerous to the child.
1 litre clean water (boiled and cooled at room temperature)
6 level teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Blend the mixture well until the sugar and salt dissolves.
ORS should be stored in a covered container and not to be kept for more than 24 hours due to the risk of bacterial infections.
ORS is a lifesaver and functions by replenishing the fluids and electrolytes lost through diarrhea and vomiting. However, in severe cases consult the physician.