The going recommendation for patients who present to the emergency room with dehydration is IV fluids. It seems to me that this is fairly wasteful and needlessly expensive. Is rehydrating with a saline drip really that much better than "here, drink this"?
To keep the question limited in scope (there are other benefits to starting an IV, like if a medication has to be administered there's already a line ready to go), I'll ask specifically about time. How much faster is rehydrating over IV vs. oral fluids? For detail, I'd love some input on what the process of absorbing fluids looks like, timing-wise.