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How to Prepare and Serve Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS)

Introduction

Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) is a mixture of glucose and several salts. When ORS is dissolved in water, the solution (ORS Solution) is absorbed into the small intestine, even during copious diarrhoea. Thus, it is effective in replacing water and salt that has been lost in the faeces.

How to prepare ORS solution

ORS comes prepared in sachet form. Empty the entire content of one ORS sachet into 250mls of cool boiled water, and mix thoroughly.

How to give ORS solution

The solution should be given to infants and young children using a clean spoon or cup. Feeding bottles should not be used.

  • Children under 2 years of age should be offered a teaspoonful every 1-2 minutes.
  • Older children above 2 years of age and adults may take frequent sips directly from the cup.

Vomiting may occur during the first two hours of treatment, especially if the child drinks the solution too quickly.

If the child vomits, wait for 5-10 minutes and then start giving ORS solution again, but more slowly (e.g. a spoonful every 2-3 minutes).

Storage

ORS solution that has been prepared should not be kept for more than 24 hours.

Last Reviewed : 03 January 2014
Writer : Dr. Alvin Khoh Kim Mun