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close this bookGuidelines for the Treatment of Malaria (WHO; 2006; 266 pages) View the PDF document
View the documentGlossary
View the documentAbbreviations
open this folder and view contents1. Introduction
View the document2. The clinical disease
open this folder and view contents3. Treatment objectives
open this folder and view contents4. Diagnosis of malaria
open this folder and view contents5. Resistance to antimalarial medicines9
open this folder and view contents6. Antimalarial treatment policy
open this folder and view contents7. Treatment of uncomplicated P. Falciparum malaria10
close this folder8. Treatment of severe falciparum malaria14
View the document8.1 Definition
View the document8.2 Treatment objectives
View the document8.3 Clinical assessment
View the document8.4 Specific antimalarial treatment
View the document8.5 Practical aspects of treatment
View the document8.6 Follow-on treatment
View the document8.7 Pre-referral treatment options16
View the document8.8 Adjunctive treatment
View the document8.9 Continuing supportive care
View the document8.10 Additional aspects of clinical management
View the document8.11 Treatment during pregnancy
View the document8.12 Management in epidemic situations
View the document8.13 Hyperparasitaemia18
open this folder and view contents9. Treatment of malaria caused by P. vivax, P. ovale or P. malariae19
View the document10. Mixed malaria infections
open this folder and view contents11. Complex emergencies and epidemics
open this folder and view contentsAnnexes

8.2 Treatment objectives

The main objective is to prevent the patient from dying, secondary objectives are prevention of recrudescence, transmission or emergence of resistance and prevention of disabilities.

The mortality of untreated severe malaria is thought to approach 100%. With anti-malarial treatment the mortality falls to 15-20% overall, although within the broad definition are syndromes associated with mortality rates that are lower (e.g. severe anaemia) and higher (metabolic acidosis). Death from severe malaria often occurs within hours of admission to hospital or clinic, and so it is essential that therapeutic concentrations of antimalarial are achieved as soon as possible.

Management of severe malaria comprises four main areas: clinical assessment of the patient, specific antimalarial treatment, adjunctive therapy and supportive care.

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