Advantages of Standardized Protocol for Oral Rehydration in Acute Pediatric Gastroenteritis
Avi Weizman, Ahmed Alsheikh, Laura Herzog, Asher Tal, Rafael Gorodischer
Pediatric Depts. A and B, Soroka Medical Center; and Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba
Oral rehydration (OR) for acute gastroenteritis in infants and children has been shown to be as effective as IV therapy, with less discomfort and lower costs. In this retrospective study we compared 2 pediatric wards, in 1 of which only a standardized, simplified, bedside protocol, based on American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, was used.
There were no significant clinical characteristics in the 208 patients. In the ward which used the above protocol, OR utilization was significantly more frequent than in the other ward (48% versus 15%), thus saving equipment costs of nearly $1,000/3 months. There were no significant differences in outcome between the wards.
We conclude that introducing a standardized management protocol may increase OR utilization in hospitalized children with acute diarrhea.