Management of diarrhea in infants and children.
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Diarrhea affecting infants and children is an important primary-care problem. Most winter infections are caused by rotavirus, but newer viral, bacterial and protozoan pathogens have been discovered. Fluid and electrolyte therapy is the mainstay of therapy. Antiemetic, antibiotic and antidiarrheal medications can usually be avoided. Commercial clear fluid products have been reformulated to allow effective rehydration and maintenance of hydration, thus avoiding hospitalization or use of intravenous therapy. Patients are quickly advanced to nutrient feedings using breast milk or formula. There is strong evidence that Canadian physicians should use these protocols which work as well in North America as in the countries of the developing world.
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