Dehydration Science

Surprising Facts About Oral Rehydration

Oral rehydration therapy – the science that DripDrop is built on – has been around for more than three decades. But this ground-breaking treatment for dehydration has hugely successful in that short timeframe. For instance, the therapy, in which patients drink an oral rehydration solution (ORS), is one of the most cost-effective treatments for dehydration in the world, and it saves millions of lives each year.

Many of us, though, have never heard of “oral rehydration.” And it remains underutilized in the U.S. We’ve written about the science of ORS in the past, if you’d like to learn why ORS is so effective. But there are many other reasons why ORS is so interesting.

In three decades, ORS has saved 50+ million lives

ORS was first put into medical practice in 1971, during a cholera outbreak in an Indian refugee camp. Using ORS, doctors were able to continue to treat patients after running out of IV saline solution. And a surprising thing happened: ORS helped doctors decrease the mortality rate from 36 percent, to just 3[i].

Since then, ORS has been used widely in the developing world to treat patients suffering from diarrhea-caused dehydration. Experts estimate that since 1980 ORS has saved more than 50 million lives worldwide[ii], and the World Health Organization puts the number even higher at about 60 million. Why? ORS quickly reverses dehydration caused by diarrhea – the No. 2 cause of death worldwide for children. In 1980, 5 million children died from diarrheal diseases; today that number is below 2 million.

DripDrop is a doctor-formulated rehydration drink based on the remarkable science of oral rehydration therapy. The difference? DripDrop is the first ORS to combine medical-grade hydration and great taste.


[i] Gerlin, A. (2006, October 16). A Simple Solution. TIME Europe, 168(17), pp. 40-47.
[ii] Yee, A. (2013). Profile: The icddr, b—saving lives in Bangladesh and beyond. The Lancet, 381(9875), 1350.
[iii] Atherly-John, Y. C., Cunningham, S. J., & Crain, E. F. (2002). A randomized trial of oral vs intravenous rehydration in a pediatric emergency department. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Medic, 156(12), 1240-1243.
[iv] Hartling, L., Bellemare, S., Wiebe, N., Russell, K., Klassen, T. P., & Craig, W. (2006). Oral versus intravenous rehydration for treating dehydration due to gastroenteritis in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 3(3).

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