The syndrome of acute gastro-intestinal disturbances, preceded or accompanied by parenteral infections, causes profound and widespread abnormalities in infants, which are reflected to some degree in changes in the blood. The present methods of investigation are so limited in scope and in their applicability to infants that our conception of the disease is necessarily incomplete and perhaps distorted. In spite of these limitations, studies of dehydration and of the associated acidosis induced by diarrhea, vomiting and refusal of food have extended our knowledge of the condition and have profoundly influenced its treatment.
The significance of dehydration was recognized early, and treatment was originally aimed at the relief of this symptom. This object can be most simply achieved by administering large amounts of fluid by mouth. Unfortunately, due to vomiting, it is seldom possible to give the requisite quantities by this route. Hence, it has been necessary to resort to the