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How to treat dehydration from the flu when IV therapy is in short supply

The flu epidemic and a national shortage of IV therapy – these are unfavorable circumstances for health professionals and their patients.  Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that there is a national shortage of intravenous (IV) saline solution across the United States. Several factors are related to this shortage, including the growing demand from hospitals and clinics that have seen a large influx of flu patients.

Manufacturers of IV saline solution informed the FDA last year that hospitals and clinics need to be aware of a delay in filling orders, due to a shutdown of various facilities undergoing inspection and upgrades. Health care providers are advising their staff to conserve their current supply of IV therapy and use alternatives like oral hydration solution (ORS) to treat dehydrated patients.

Approximately 1.5 million outpatient visits occur each year as a result of dehydration. Many people don’t realize that they can become extremely dehydrated when they have a cold or flu.

What are signs of dehydration? A rapid heart rate, dry tongue, no urination for 8 hours in children, few or no tears when crying, and fussiness and no wet diapers for 6 hours in an infant. Signs of severe dehydration can include sunken eyes, deep and rapid breathing, sunken soft spot at the top of an infant’s head, rapid and weak pulse, excessive tiredness, decreased alertness, and a rapid or weakened pulse.

Thousands of clinical visits can easily be prevented by using oral rehydration solution (ORS) when treating a cold or flu. During the current IV therapy shortage, ORS is recommended to effectively rehydrate the body.

Drip Drop, a medical grade oral rehydration solution, is proven to be as effective as IV therapy to treat dehydration and help speed recovery. This great tasting ORS is used by top medical institutions, but it is also being used by people at home to prevent dehydration. Drip Drop is available through Amazon, select Walgreens, and our website www.dripdrop.com.  

image from iStock

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