• The feeding habits of 70 infants under 6 months old hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis were studied to determine whether current efforts to discourage high-solute feeding were having an effect on the incidence of hypernatremic dehydration. Fifteen infants (21%) were fed modified (low-solute) milks and 55 (79%) unmodified (high-solute) milks. Of 47 infants under 3 months old, 15 (32%) had commenced mixed feeding. Plasma sodium level was estimated in 60 infants. Mean values in the modified and unmodified groups were the same, at 137 mEq/liter. Only one infant was hypernatremic (sodium level, 152 mEq/liter). Osmolalities of 65 samples of milk were measured to provide a measure of milk concentration. Only ten (16%) exceeded by more than 25% that recommended by the manufacturers. Twenty-two (34%) were less than 75% of the recommended concentrations.
These improved feeding practices have probably contributed largely to the very low incidence of hypernatremia by preventing dangerously high solute intakes at a time of particular vulnerability.
(Am J Dis Child 133:148-150, 1979)
Davies DP, Ansari BM, Mandal BK. The Declining Incidence of Infantile Hypernatremic Dehydration in Great Britain. Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(2):148–150. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130020038007
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.