Oral Rehydration Salts - Current WHO Formula


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New formula oral rehydration salts

A new formula for oral rehydration salts (ORS), has been released by the World Health Organization. The new formula ORS, a sodium and glucose solution, is widely used to treat children with acute diarrhea. Since WHO adopted ORS in 1978 as its primary tool to fight diarrhea, the mortality rate for children suffering from acute diarrhea has fallen from 5 million to 1.3 million deaths annually.

The new improved formula is the result of extensive research sponsored by WHO’s Department of Child and Adolescent Health and Development and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The latest study was conducted in five developing countries among children from one month to two years old with acute diarrhea and dehydration.

The study’s findings suggest that using the low-sodium, low-glucose ORS formulation reduces the need for intravenous fluids by 33 percent. The effect of this reduction could result in fewer children requiring hospitalization, fewer secondary infections, a diminished need to handle blood with its potentially dangerous consequences, and lower health care costs.

Reduced osmolarity

For more than 25 years, WHO and UNICEF have recommended a single formulation of glucose-based oral rehydration salts to prevent or treat dehydration from diarrhea irrespective of the cause or age group affected. This product, which provides a solution containing 90 mEq/l of sodium with a total osmolarity of 311 mOsm/l, has proven effective and without apparent adverse effects in worldwide use. It has contributed substantially to the dramatic global reduction in mortality from diarrheal disease during the period.

The old formula:

Sodium Chloride 3.5 g
Potassium Chloride 1.5 g
Trisodium Citrate, dihydrate 2.9 g
Glucose Anhydrous 20.0 g

New Formula:

Made in the USA

Dimensions: 4.25" H x 3.5" W x 0.25" D
Weight: 0.7 oz

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  • 5
    You should have these

    Posted by Eric on 11 11 2019

    If you don't have ORS on hand, you need to get some. Not only for your medical kits but for things like vehicle survival kits. I personally like this formulation but any of the ones Rescue Essentials has will work for you. Even if only for the flu or after a night out.

  • 5

    Posted by Harold Gillim on 09 18 2019

    This is an item that should be on every prep list. I keep a supply in all of my go bags. Much healthier than the drinks you see on the shelf at big box stores.