Clinical Review Extracts from “Clinical Evidence Concise”

Severe life threatening malaria in endemic areas

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 15 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:154
  1. Aika Omari, research associate1,
  2. Paul Garner, professor of community health1
  1. 1ol School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool L3 5QA


    Definition Severe malaria is caused by the protozoan infection of red blood cells with Plasmodium falciparum and comprises a variety of syndromes requiring hospitalisation. Clinically complicated malaria presents with life threatening conditions, which include coma, severe anaemia, renal failure, respiratory distress syndrome, hypoglycaemia, shock, spontaneous haemorrhage, and convulsions. The diagnosis of cerebral malaria should be considered where there is encephalopathy in the presence of malaria parasites. A strict definition of cerebral malaria is unrousable coma and no other cause of encephalopathy (for example, hypoglycaemia, sedative drugs) in the presence of P …

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