Calling all ORS Experts – help me out here!


First, can I ask you to study the above photo of the instructions on a packet of ‘WHO approved’ ORS which makes 1 litre of solution. First, you’ll note that you should discard any unused ORS solution after 24 hours. Next you’ll note that the recommendation that a child below 2 years should be given between 50 to 100ml a day (so you’d throw 900-950ml away). Then you’ll see that children between 2 and 10 years should be given 100 to 200ml a day (so you’d throw 800-900ml away).

Now I think these recommended dosages are misleading. I think the recommendation is that you give the solution ad-lib, but even then you are not going to get 1 litre of ORS solution into a small baby in 24 hours.

So why are the majority of ORS sachets of a size that makes up 1 litre? Surely it would be better to make the sachets a quarter of this size? Why make up a whole litre and allow flies to land on it etc etc and then throw most of it away? Why not make up smaller amounts? Little and often?

Update 17/3/12

This blog post generated a lot of email traffic containing some really helpful insights. These have led us down the road of producing smaller sachets and using the AidPod itself as the measure. See:

The ORS Question answered . . . by you
Pack of innovation – your ORS: shaken, not stirred


  1. Sharifahrahma says

    I think the idea is that with communicable diseases like diarrhoea, you might have an entire family needing the sachet. Also it might be worth it asking around as to whether the 24 hours is a recommendation by the WHO itself or the manufacturers. i.e is it obligatory or merely a good thing to do.

    Dont think I really answered the question but that is my two cents… Keep up the good work

  2. KarinEHubbard says

    Those quantities seem very small. I wonder if that is what is to be given after each loose motion? I’ll see what’s in the BNF.


  1. Are you an ORS expert? If you are we need some answers to the questions posed here:

  2. Susan Davis says:

    Are you an oral rehydration salts #ORS expert? You are needed here: