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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


MEJIA, Aurelio et al. Costs of oral and nasogastric rehydration compared to intravenous rehydration in children under 5 years of age with diarrhea in Colombia. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2017, vol.19, n.1, pp.17-23. ISSN 0124-0064.


To evaluate the costs of oral rehydration therapy (ORT) and nasogastric rehydration therapy (NRT) compared with intravenous rehydration therapy (IRT) to treat dehydration in children under 5 years of age with diarrhea.


Cost-minimization analysis from the perspective of the Colombian Health System, comparing ORT, (followed by NRT when ORT fails), with IRT. The time horizon was the duration of rehydration. The effectiveness measure was obtained from a systematic review of the literature. To determine costs, a typical case was created based on current guidelines and medical records; this case was validated by experts. Unit costs were obtained from Colombian databases and were provided in Colombian pesos (COP) and US dollars (USD) for 2010. One- and two-way sensitivity analyzes were performed.


ORT and ERT are similarly effective to prevent hospitalization and to achieve rehydration. In the base case, the expected cost of ORT was $91,221 COP (40.5 USD) and for IRT was $112,944 COP ($50.14 USD), saving $21,723 COP ($9.64 USD) per case. In the sensitivity analyzes by health insurance and hospital level, ORT is often the least costly strategy.


Both interventions are similarly effective, but ORT, followed by NRT when ORT fails, is less costly than IRT. ORT is recommended as the first option to treat dehydration since it is effective and less expensive. Efforts should be continued to implement TRO and NRT in the health services of Colombia.

Keywords : Diarrhea infantile; costs and costs analysis; hospital costs; fluid therapy; rehydration solutions; gastrointestinal intubation; world health organization oral rehydration solution (source: MeSH, NLM).

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