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April 3, 1991

Economic Barriers to the Use of Oral Rehydration TherapyA Case Report

JAMA. 1991;265(13):1724-1725. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460130116033

Diarrheal dehydration is a highly prevalent condition among young children and is readily prevented and treated with oral rehydration therapy. We report a death due to hypernatremic dehydration caused by rotavirus diarrhea of a 9-month-old infant whose mother attempted to purchase oral glucose-electrolyte solution in a pharmacy but was unable to afford it. While efforts such as the National ORT Project should help to promote the proper at-home treatment of this condition, we conclude that oral rehydration therapy will not be used optimally by the parents of children living in poverty until the economic barriers to its use are removed.

(JAMA. 1991;265:1724-1725)