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Exchange blood transfusions

Exchange blood transfusions may be considered for treating severe cases of malaria if:6

  • The percentage of blood cells infected with the parasite (parasite density) is greater than 10%.
  • You have altered mental capacity (severe confusion) due to the malaria infection.
  • You have lung or kidney complications.

Exchange blood transfusion is the quickest way to remove parasites. This procedure involves withdrawing blood from you at the same time that donor blood is being injected. During this exchange, the amount of blood in your body stays constant. Quinine is given by needle into a vein (intravenously) at the same time as the blood transfusion. Parasite density is checked every 12 hours until it is less than 1%.6

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 11, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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