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Malaria

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Malaria is a disease that is caused by a parasite. It is usually spread through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It can also spread through infected blood, such as from a blood transfusion or sharing needles.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

You may get malaria again. The infection may spread to your brain. This can cause swelling of your brain or brain damage. Fluid may build up in your lungs. Malaria can cause your kidneys or liver to fail, or your spleen to rupture. The infection can damage your red blood cells, which can cause severe anemia. You may have severely low blood sugar. Malaria can cause premature delivery of your baby or a miscarriage. These problems can be life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Monitoring:

  • Glucose meter: A glucose meter (also called a glucometer) is a small machine used to test the amount of sugar in your blood. Your finger is pricked so your caregiver can get a small drop of blood. The blood is put onto a testing strip, and put into the glucose meter. A screen on the glucose meter will show the amount of sugar in your blood. This test may be done several times a day. You may be taught how to do this test yourself.

  • Heart monitor: This is also called an ECG or EKG. Sticky pads placed on your skin record your heart's electrical activity.

  • Neuro exam: This exam can show caregivers how well your brain works. Caregivers will check how your pupils react to light. They may check your memory, your hand grasp, and your balance.

Medicines:

  • Malaria medicine: This is given to kill the parasites that are causing your infection. The kind of medicine used depends on what kind of parasite is causing the malaria.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Anticonvulsant medicine: This medicine is given to control seizures. Take this medicine exactly as directed.

  • Antipyretics: This medicine is given to decrease a fever.

  • Pain medicine: Caregivers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain.

    • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.

    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling a caregiver when you want to get out of bed or if you need help.

Tests:

  • Blood tests: You may need blood taken to give caregivers information about how your body is working. The blood may be taken from your hand, arm, or IV.

  • Blood gases: This is also called an arterial blood gas, or ABG. Blood is taken from an artery (blood vessel) in your wrist, arm, or groin. Your blood is tested for the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in it. The results can tell caregivers how well your lungs are working.

  • Chest x-ray: This is a picture of your lungs and heart. Caregivers may use the x-ray to look for signs of infection such as pneumonia, or to look for collapsed lungs.

Treatment:

  • You may need extra oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. You may get oxygen through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. Ask your healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.

  • Blood transfusion: You will get whole or parts of blood through an IV during a transfusion. Blood is tested for diseases, such as hepatitis and HIV, to be sure it is safe.

  • A ventilator is a machine that gives you oxygen and breathes for you when you cannot breathe well on your own. An endotracheal (ET) tube is put into your mouth or nose and attached to the ventilator. You may need a trach if an ET tube cannot be placed. A trach is a tube put through an incision and into your windpipe.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Malaria (Inpatient Care)

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