In research published this week in PLoS Medicine, Stephen Freedman (University of Toronto) and colleagues performed a cost analysis of the emergency department administration of oral ondansetron to children with dehydration and vomiting secondary to gastroenteritis and found that this treatment could provide substantial economic, as well as clinical, benefit.
The researchers analyzed the costs of the administration of oral ondansetron in both the US and Canada, if routinely given to children with gastroenteritis-induced vomiting and dehydration in the emergency department setting and found that in the US and Canada the use of ondansetraon would provide substantial reductions in financial costs. hospitalizations and intravenous insertions.
They conclude that in countries where intravenous rehydration is often employed, the emergency department administration of oral ondansetron to children with dehydration and vomiting secondary to gastroenteritis is likely to be valuable. However, in less developed countries the emphasis for treatment of children with dehydration and vomiting should remain on oral rehydration therapy alone.
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Freedman SB, Steiner MJ, Chan KJ (2010) Oral Ondansetron Administration in Emergency Departments to Children with Gastroenteritis: An Economic Analysis. PLoS Med 7(10): e1000350. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000350