Acute dehydrating gastro-enteritis in undernourished infants

  • DW Beatty
  • MD Mann
  • H DE V Heese
  • GMB Berger

Abstract

In 80 undernourished infants with acute dehydrating gastro-enteritis a pattern of electrolyte and metabolic disturbances was found, including acidosis, hyponatraemia and hypokalaemia. Clinical assessment of acidosis and dehydration was reliable in most cases, but electrolyte disturbances, including hypernatraemia, could not be accurately diagnosed. In the majority of infants presenting with dehydrating gastro-enteritis, electrolyte and acid-base investigations are not obligatory. The use of half-strength Oarrow's solution in 2;5% dextrose water, with supplementary intravenous sodium bicarbonate and oral potassium, rapidly corrected the electrolyte and acid-base disturbances. No significant difference resulted when this regimen was modified by variations in the rate, volume or type of intravenous fluid given.

S. Afr. Med. J., 48, 1563 (1974)

Author Biographies

DW Beatty

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town

MD Mann
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town
H DE V Heese
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Cape Town
GMB Berger
Pathology Laboratory, Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, Cape Town
Published
2018-03-30
Section
Articles

eISSN: 0256-95749