Recovery From Severe Malaria – Angola 18

December 9th, 2016 by Nicholas Comninellis

 

Domingos’ father arrived yesterday at CEML Hospital with his ten-year old son. The father himself underwent cataract surgery at CEML three months earlier. After recovery, he ventured back home in the isolated eastern interior of Angola, where the father found Domingos febrile, vomiting, and with a large, painful abdomen. At first the father invited traditional healing – typically the first step in these cultures. But weeks later Domingos continued to decline such that he could hardly walk.

 

On exam, I was alarmed to find Domingos’ heart rate to be 180, his extremities swollen, and his liver and spleen enlarged, occupying almost his entire abdomen. Quick lab analysis revealed a hemoglobin of 5 and positive falciparum malaria. Hospitalization is expensive in Angola, but timely counsel convinced me to pursue inpatient care for advanced malaria nonetheless.

 

Within hours of initiating IV quinine, dextrose and clindamycin Domingos’ status was already improving. In this heartening photo, with father and brother looking on, Sari Simonich is reassuring Domingo he’s regaining health.