Guideline in management of severe malaria

J Indian Med Assoc. 2000 Oct;98(10):628-31.


Severe malaria remains a major cause of mortality in the world. Malaria can mimic many diseases and there is no absolute diagnostic clinical features. High index of suspicion is clue for clinical diagnosis. Previous travel history to endemic area should be elicited in all, and in particular, febrile patients. Management of severe malaria needs potent antimalarial drug and intensive care. Artemisinin derivatives can be of altemative use to quinine. Dexamethasone and mannitol have no beneficial value in the management of cerebral malaria. In pulmonary oedema patients whose hydration assessments are difficult to monitor, central venous pressure evaluation may be useful. Acute renal failure patients may need dialysis until uraemic syndrome subsides or patients can void urine. Most severe malaria patients have thrombocytopenia; however, platelet concentrate transfusion is indicated only in patients with systemic bleeding. Morbidity and mortality will be reduced in severe malaria patients with early diagnosis and prompt treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Antimalarials / therapeutic use
  • Artemisinins*
  • Humans
  • Malaria, Falciparum / complications*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / diagnosis
  • Malaria, Falciparum / drug therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Quinine / therapeutic use
  • Sesquiterpenes / therapeutic use


  • Antimalarials
  • Artemisinins
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • artemisinin
  • Quinine