Research Article

Survey of gastroenteritis in children admitted to hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1971-5.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 05 March 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:619
  1. C R Pullan,
  2. H Dellagrammatikas,
  3. H Steiner


    In a survey of 674 children admitted to the main gastroenteritis unit in Newcastle upon Tyne from 1971 to 1975 there was a noticeable reduction in the incidence of severe dehydration and hypernatraemia, though there was no appreciable change in many characteristics of the patients. This period coincided locally (and nationally) with a determined effort on the part of health visitors and doctors to encourage mothers to breast-feed and to advise them to avoid giving concentrated milk feeds and ensure an adequate water intake during febrile illnesses. This may have contributed towards a reduction in the severity of the illness in children with gastroenteritis admitted to hospital. The overall mortality and the incidence of neurological complications in cases of hypernatraemia are low compared with previous reports.