[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large-scale longitudinal cohort project was initiated in western Kenya in June 1992. Between June 1992 and July 1994, 1,848 children less than 15 years of age were monitored prospectively for a mean of 236 days. During this period, 12,035 blood smears were examined for malaria and only 34% were found to be negative. Parasite prevalence (all species) decreased with age (from a high of 83% among children 1-4 years old to 60% among children 10-14 years old). Even more dramatic decreases were noted in the prevalence of high density falciparum infection (from 37% among children 12-23 months old to < 1% among 10-14-year-old children) and in clinical malaria (20% to 0.3% in the same age groups). Children < 1 year of age accounted for 55% of all cases of anemia detected. Anemia was consistently associated with high density infection in children < 10 years of age (20% to 210% increased risk relative to aparasitemic children). These results demonstrate the relationship between high-density malaria infection and two clinical manifestations of malarial illness.
Preview · Article · May 1999 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A large-scale longitudinal cohort project was initiated in western Kenya in June 1992. The primary purpose of the project was to study Plasmodium falciparum malaria in a highly endemic area using a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach, which included epidemiology, entomology, and immunology. Between June 1992 and July 1994, pregnant women living in 15 rural villages were identified during a monthly census and 1,164 were enrolled. The women were followed-up throughout their pregnancy and they, along with their newborn infants and direct siblings of the infants' less than 15 years of age, were monitored over time. As of May 1995, 1,017 infants had been born to these women. This paper presents the design and general methodology used in this study and describes the initial experience with intense monitoring of a large population over a prolonged period.
Preview · Article · May 1999 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the effect of transfusion on hematologic recovery and mortality among severely anemic children during and after hospitalization in rural Kenya.
We collected clinical and laboratory information on all severely anemic children (hemoglobin < 5.0 g/dl) and a 33% sample of children with hemoglobin < or = 5.0 g/dl who were admitted to the pediatric ward of a rural Kenyan hospital during a 6 month study period. Children were followed during hospitalization and at 4 and 8 weeks after admission.
Overall, 303 (25%) of the 1223 hospitalized children had hemoglobin < 5.0 g/dl, 30% of whom died during the study period. Severely anemic children who were transfused had a higher mean hemoglobin level at discharge (9.0 g/dl) than non-transfused children (5.8 g/dl, P < 0.001) and maintained a higher mean hemoglobin during the 8-week follow-up period. However, the presence of malaria parasitemia on follow-up negated the benefit of transfusion on hematologic recovery at both 4- and 8-week visits (longitudinal linear model, least square means, P > 0.05). Transfusion was associated with improved survival among children with respiratory distress who received transfusions within the first 2 days of hospitalization.
The use of transfusion can be improved by targeting use of blood to severely anemic children with cardiorespiratory compromise, improving immediate availability of blood, and treating severely anemic children with effective antimalarial therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria is caused by infection with one of four species of Plasmodium (P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae), which are transmitted by the bite of an infective female Anopheles sp. mosquito. Most malaria cases in the United States occur among persons who have traveled to areas (i.e., other countries) in which disease transmission is ongoing. However, cases are transmitted occasionally through exposure to infected blood products, by congenital transmission, or by local mosquito-borne transmission. Malaria surveillance is conducted to identify episodes of local transmission and to guide prevention recommendations.
Cases with onset of illness during 1993.
Malaria cases confirmed by blood smear are reported to local and/or state health departments by health-care providers and/or laboratories. Case investigations are conducted by local and/or state health departments, and the reports are transmitted to CDC.
CDC received reports of 1,275 cases of malaria in persons in the United States and its territories who had onset of symptoms during 1993; this number represented a 40% increase over the 910 malaria cases reported for 1992. P. vivax, P. falciparum, P. ovale, and P. malariae were identified in 52%, 36%, 4%, and 3% of cases, respectively. The species was not determined in the remaining 5% of cases. The 278 malaria cases in U.S. military personnel represented the largest number of such cases since 1972; 234 of these cases were diagnosed in persons returning from deployment in Somalia during Operation Restore Hope. In New York City, the number of reported cases increased from one in 1992 to 130 in 1993. The number of malaria cases acquired in Africa by U.S. civilians increased by 45% from 1992; of these, 34% had been acquired in Nigeria. The 45% increase primarily reflected cases reported by New York City. Of U.S. civilians who acquired malaria during travel, 75% had not used a chemoprophylactic regimen recommended by CDC for the area in which they had traveled. Eleven cases of malaria had been acquired in the United States: of these cases, five were congenital; three were induced; and three were cryptic, including two cases that were probably locally acquired mosquito-borne infections. Eight deaths were associated with malarial infection.
The increase in the reported number of malaria cases was attributed to a) the number of infections acquired during military deployment in Somalia and b) complete reporting for the first time of cases from New York City.
Investigations were conducted to collect detailed information concerning the eight fatal cases and the 11 cases acquired in the United States. Malaria prevention guidelines were updated and disseminated to health-care providers. Persons who have a fever or influenza-like illness after returning from a malarious area should seek medical care, regardless of whether they took antimalarial chemoprophylaxis during their stay. The medical evaluation should include a blood smear examination for malaria. Malaria can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated rapidly. Recommendations concerning prevention and treatment of malaria can be obtained from CDC.
No preview · Article · Mar 1997 · MMWR. CDC surveillance summaries: Morbidity and mortality weekly report. CDC surveillance summaries / Centers for Disease Control
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In 1993, the World Health Organization completed the development of a draft algorithm for the integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI), which deals with acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, malaria, measles, ear infections, malnutrition, and immunization status. The present study compares the performance of a minimally trained health worker to make a correct diagnosis using the draft IMCI algorithm with that of a fully trained paediatrician who had laboratory and radiological support. During the 14-month study period, 1795 children aged between 2 months and 5 years were enrolled from the outpatient paediatric clinic of Siaya District Hospital in western Kenya; 48% were female and the median age was 13 months. Fever, cough and diarrhoea were the most common chief complaints presented by 907 (51%), 395 (22%), and 199 (11%) of the children, respectively; 86% of the chief complaints were directly addressed by the IMCI algorithm. A total of 1210 children (67%) had Plasmodium falciparum infection and 1432 (80%) met the WHO definition for anaemia (haemoglobin < 11 g/dl). The sensitivities and specificities for classification of illness by the health worker using the IMCI algorithm compared to diagnosis by the physician were: pneumonia (97% sensitivity, 49% specificity); dehydration in children with diarrhoea (51%, 98%); malaria (100%, 0%); ear problem (98%, 2%); nutritional status (96%, 66%); and need for referral (42%, 94%). Detection of fever by laying a hand on the forehead was both sensitive and specific (91%, 77%). There was substantial clinical overlap between pneumonia and malaria (n = 895), and between malaria and malnutrition (n = 811). Based on the initial analysis of these data, some changes were made in the IMCI algorithm. This study provides important technical validation of the IMCI algorithm, but the performance of health workers should be monitored during the early part of their IMCI training.
Full-text · Article · Jan 1997 · Bulletin of the World Health Organisation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Optimal treatment of Plasmodium falciparum-related paediatric anaemia can result in improved haematological recovery and survival. Clinical predictors are needed to identify children with anaemia in settings where laboratory measurements are not available. The use of conjunctival (eyelid), palmar, nailbed, and tongue pallor to detect children with moderate anaemia (haemoglobin, 5.0-7.9 g/dl) or severe anaemia (haemoglobin, < 5.0 g/dl) was evaluated among children seen at an outpatient and inpatient setting in a hospital in western Kenya. Severe nailbed or severe palmar pallor had the highest sensitivity (62% and 60%, resp.), compared with severe conjunctival pallor (sensitivity = 31%), to detect children with severe anaemia in the outpatient setting. Children with moderate anaemia were best identified by the presence of nailbed or palmar pallor (sensitivity = 90% for both signs), compared with conjunctival pallor (sensitivity = 81%). Clinical signs of respiratory distress, in addition to the presence of severe pallor, did not increase the recognition of children requiring hospitalization for severe anaemia. Among inpatients, the sensitivity of severe nailbed pallor (59%) was highest for detecting children with severe anaemia, although the sensitivity of severe conjunctival pallor and severe palmar pallor was the same (53% for both signs). Presence of conjunctival pallor (sensitivity = 74%) was similar in sensitivity to both nailbed and palmar pallor (70% for both signs) among children with moderate anaemia. The sensitivity of tongue pallor was low among all children evaluated. Low haemoglobin levels were significantly associated with the likelihood of being smear-positive for P. falciparum. This study demonstrates that clinical criteria can be used to identify children with moderate and severe anaemia, thus enabling implementation of treatment algorithms. Children aged < 36 months who live in an area with P. falciparum malaria should receive treatment with an effective antimalarial drug if they have pallor.
Full-text · Article · Jan 1997 · Bulletin of the World Health Organisation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum infection is an important cause of the high childhood mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa. Increasingly, the contribution of P. falciparum-associated severe anemia to pediatric mortality is being recognized while the impact of chloroquine resistance on mortality has not been evaluated. To address the issues of pediatric mortality, causes of death among hospitalized children less than five years of age in western Kenya were identified using standardized clinical examinations and laboratory evaluations. Follow-up examinations were conducted to determine the child's clinical status posthospitalization. Of the 1,223 children admitted to Siaya District Hospital from March to September 1991, 293 (24%) were severely anemic (hemoglobin level < 5.0 g/dL). There were 265 (22%) deaths; 121 (10%) occurred in-hospital and 144 (13%) occurred out-of-hospital within eight weeks after admission; 32% of all deaths were associated with malaria. Treatment for malaria with chloroquine was associated with a 33% case fatality rate compared with 11% for children treated with more effective regimens (pyrimethamine/sulfa, quinine, or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole for five days). The risk of dying was associated with younger age (P < 0.0001) and severe anemia (relative risk [RR] = 1.52, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.22, 1.90), and was decreased by treatment with an effective antimalarial drug (RR = 0.33, 95% CI = 0.19, 0.65). Effective drug therapy for P. falciparum with regimens that are parasitocidal in areas with a high prevalence of severe anemia and chloroquine resistance can significantly improve the survival of children in Africa.
No preview · Article · Dec 1996 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The control of malaria in pregnant African women, one of several child survival strategies applied through antenatal care, has been particularly challenging. Prevention and control recommendations for typical areas of high Plasmodium falciparum transmission have promoted the use of antimalarial chemoprophylaxis to prevent placental infection. Persistently low program coverage coupled with diminishing intervention effectiveness have forced a re-evaluation of the relative importance of malaria in pregnancy. The Mangochi Malaria Research Project (MMRP), a prospective evaluation of malaria prevention in pregnant women in rural Malawi conducted during 1987-1990, contributed to establishing new criteria for policy and program development for malaria prevention in pregnancy. The principle findings of the MMRP include: 1) populations at risk of the adverse consequences of malaria in pregnancy include women with low parity, women infected with human immunodeficiency virus, pregnancy during the high malaria transmission season, and the use of a malaria drug that is suboptimally efficacious; 2) the estimated maximum benefits of an antimalarial intervention that clears placental and umbilical cord parasitemia are a 5-12% reduction of low birth weight (LBW), an approximately 35% reduction in the risk of LBW for risks that are actually preventable once a woman has become pregnant (e.g., risks such as infectious disease or poor nutrition during gestation), and a 3-5% reduction in the rate of infant mortality; 3) the intervention must be capable of rendering the woman malaria parasite free, including clearance of parasites from the placental vascular space and umbilical cord blood; 4) other diseases adversely affect pregnancy outcome and, while the control of malaria in pregnancy may not warrant independent programming, if coupled with prevention programs to provide a range of antenatal services, the incremental costs of malaria control may prove to be highly cost-effective; and 5) the choice of a regimen must balance intervention efficacy with safety, availability, affordability, and simplicity of delivery, and several antimalarials may meet these criteria. The Malawi Ministry of Health has modified its malaria prevention in pregnancy recommendations and now faces the challenge of effective programming to improve child survival.
No preview · Article · Feb 1996 · The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Malaria is caused by one of four species of Plasmodium (i.e., P. falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, or P. malariae) and is transmitted by the bite of an infective female Anopheles sp. mosquito. Most malaria cases in the United States occur among persons who have traveled to areas that have ongoing transmission. However, cases are transmitted occasionally through exposure to infected blood products, by congenital transmission, or by local mosquito-borne transmission. Malaria surveillance is conducted to identify episodes of local transmission and to guide prevention recommendations.
Cases with onset of illness during 1992.
Malaria cases were identified at the local level (i.e., by healthcare providers or through laboratory-based surveillance). All suspected cases were confirmed by slide diagnosis and then reported to the respective state health department and to CDC.
CDC received reports of 910 cases of malaria that had onset of symptoms during 1992 among persons in the United States and its territories. In comparison, 1,046 cases were reported for 1991, representing a decrease of 13% in 1992. P. vivax, P. falciparum, P. malariae, and P. ovale were identified in 51%, 33%, 4%, and 3% of cases, respectively. The species was not identified in the remaining 9% of cases. The number of reported malaria cases that had been acquired in Africa by U.S. civilians decreased 38%, primarily because the number of P. falciparum cases declined. Of U.S. civilians whose illnesses were diagnosed as malaria, 81% had not taken a chemoprophylactic regimen recommended by CDC. Seven patients had acquired their infections in the United States. Seven deaths were attributed to malaria.
The decrease in the number of P. falciparum cases in U.S. civilians could have resulted from a change in travel patterns, reporting errors, or increased use of more effective chemoprophylaxis regimens.
Additional information was obtained concerning the seven fatal cases and the seven cases acquired in the United States. Malaria prevention guidelines were updated and disseminated to health-care providers. Persons traveling to a malaria-endemic area should take the recommended chemoprophylaxis regimen and use personal protection measures to prevent mosquito bites. Any person who has been to a malarious area and who subsequently develops a fever or influenza-like symptoms should seek medical care, which should include a blood smear for malaria. The disease can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated at an early stage of infection. Recommendations concerning prevention and treatment of malaria can be obtained from CDC.
No preview · Article · Nov 1995 · MMWR. CDC surveillance summaries: Morbidity and mortality weekly report. CDC surveillance summaries / Centers for Disease Control
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In August, 1993, 3 cases of Plasmodium falciparum malaria in people without recent travel histories or bloodborne exposure were reported in New York City. An epidemiological investigation confirmed the absence of risk factors for acquisition of malaria in two cases. The third case could not be definitively classified as locally acquired malaria because the patient had travelled to Thailand two years before malaria was diagnosed. The 3 individuals lived in separate houses in the same neighbourhood of Queens, New York and had onset of illness within a day of each other. The investigation consisted of patient interviews, active case finding, reviewing recent New York flight and shipping arrivals, and an entomological survey for anopheline mosquitoes and breeding sites. No other cases were identified. The 3 patients lived several miles from air and sea ports and prevailing winds would have carried any mosquitoes at those sites away from the patient's homes. By the time of the environmental investigation (September, 1993), the area was dry and neither adult nor larval anophelines were found. However, weather conditions at the probable time of infection (July, 1993) were very different. Malaria was probably transmitted to these 2 patients by local anopheline mosquitoes that had fed on infected human hosts. Mosquito-control measures were not implemented because there was no evidence of ongoing transmission. The occurrence of mosquito-transmitted malaria in New York City demonstrates the potential for reintroduction of malaria transmission into areas that are no longer endemic and emphasises the need for continued surveillance and prompt investigations, if cases without risk factors are reported.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reported are the results of a study of residents' knowledge about malaria and antimalarial drugs and of their treatment-seeking behaviour in a rural area of western Kenya. The study subjects were generally well-informed about the symptoms of the disease. Malaria was perceived as a relatively mild illness, much less severe than acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), measles, difficulty in breathing, and diarrhoea. Self-treatment was extremely common: of 138 episodes of febrile illness, 60% were treated at home with herbal remedies or medicines purchased at local shops, and only 18% received treatment at a health centre or hospital; no treatment was sought by the remainder. Commercially available chloroquine preparations were perceived as more effective than either antipyretics or herbal remedies for the treatment of malaria, and injections were regarded as more effective than oral medications. 4-Amino-quinolines were used to treat 58% of febrile illnesses but in only 12% of the cases was a curative dose of > or = 25 mg/kg body weight employed. Even attendance at a health centre did not ensure adequate treatment because of the common practice of sharing medication among family members. Greatly increased attention should be paid to the role of home treatment of malaria when policies are being developed for the management of febrile illnesses in sub-Saharan Africa.
Preview · Article · Jan 1995 · Bulletin of the World Health Organisation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Severe anaemia among women in sub-Saharan Africa is frequently treated with blood transfusions. The risk of transmission of
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through blood products has led to a re-evaluation of the indications for transfusions.
Prospective surveillance of women admitted to a district hospital in western Kenya was conducted from 1 December 1990 to 31
July 1991, for haemoglobin (Hb) transfusion status, and outcome. Of the 2986 enrolled women (mean Hb 10.4 g/dL, SD±2.6, median
age 24.4 years), 6% were severely anaemic (Hb <6.0 g/dL). Severe anaemia was associated with a higher mortality rate (10.7%
vs. 1.4%, odds ratio (OR) = 8.2, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.6, 34.2) compared with women with Hb ⩾ 6.0 g/dL. Decreased
mortality rates in hospital were observed with increasing Hb values (OR = 0.43, 95% CI 0.19, 0.98), but blood transfusions
did not improve survival in hospital (OR = 1.56, 95% CI 0.22, 11.03). The attributable mortality due to HIV infection and
severe anaemia was 75% and 31%, respectively. Maternal/child health care services must include prevention strategies for HIV
transmission and the prevention, recognition, and treatment of severe anaemia.
No preview · Article · Mar 1994 · Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the United States, effective malaria prevention strategies for short-term travelers are available. Monitoring trends in imported malaria and continued evaluation of the effectiveness and chemoprophylaxis will allow prevention recommendations to evolve as the risk of infection and effectiveness of antimalarial drugs change. Our challenge is to increase the number of prospective travelers receiving pre-travel advice, to disseminate this information to health care providers, and to improve the quality of the advice given. The early recognition of Plasmodium infection and the institution of prompt and effective treatment will reduce morbidity and mortality from malaria in this country.
No preview · Article · Oct 1993 · Infectious Disease Clinics of North America
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify ways to improve the operation of blood-screening programs and to decrease the inappropriate use of blood by evaluating blood-transfusion practices and blood-banking services in a Kenyan hospital.
The study was conducted in a rural district hospital in western Kenya between September 1990 and July 1991.
We collected data on all transfusion requests (blood donation, grouping, HIV screening) and blood recipients (age, sex, diagnosis, and for a 3-month period on the pediatric, maternity, and female wards, admission hemoglobin and outcome).
During the 11-month study period, 799 patients received 927 transfusions: 67% were children < 15 years of age, 27% were adult women and 6% were adult men. Transfusions were often delayed due to reliance on patient-recruited donors. Patients who received blood donated on or after the date of request waited longer for transfusion (median, 3 days) than patients who received blood that had been banked and screened before the request (median, 1 day). Patient-recruited donors had a higher HIV-seropositivity rate than volunteer donors (13.4 and 4.6%, respectively; chi 2 test, P < 0.001). Overall, 47% of pediatric transfusions were classified as inappropriate: 23% did not meet the criteria of having hemoglobin < 5.0 g/dl and clinical evidence of respiratory distress, and 27% were transfused 2 or more days after requested. Among adults, 68% received one unit of blood or less.
Improved laboratory services, reduction of unnecessary transfusions, and increased recruitment of volunteer donors are critical for improving the appropriate and timely use of blood and reducing transfusion-associated HIV transmission.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emphasis on retaining chloroquine as the first-line therapy for Plasmodium falciparum infections in most of sub-Saharan Africa for as long as it remains effective has resulted in widespread reliance on chloroquine
in areas where it can have little effect on P. falciparum parasitemia. To address this issue, clinical, parasitologic, and hematologic responses to chloroquine or pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine
treatment were assessed among very young children in Malawi (n = 153) and Kenya (n = 73). The median time to resumption of clinical symptoms in chloroquine-treated children was 13.5 days in Malawi and 9.5
days in Kenya. Children treated with pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine maintained clinical improvement and had greater increases in
their hemoglobin concentration during the follow-up period than did children treated with chloroquine. Treatment with chloroquine
failed to produce either a durable clinical improvement or optimal hematologic recovery. Consequently, chloroquine can no
longer be considered adequately effective therapy of clinical P. falciparum malaria in very young children in these areas of Africa.
No preview · Article · May 1993 · The Journal of Infectious Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The spread of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria has led to increased use of mefloquine prophylaxis by US Peace Corps volunteers in sub-Saharan Africa. We compared long-term mefloquine with other drug regimens for effectiveness and tolerance. The incidence of Plasmodium falciparum infections and of adverse reactions was compared in Peace Corps volunteers who took chloroquine weekly, mefloquine weekly, mefloquine every other week, or weekly chloroquine plus daily proguanil. Weekly mefloquine was 94% more effective than chloroquine (95% CI 86% to 97%), 86% more effective than chloroquine plus proguanil (95% CI 67% to 94%), and 82% more effective than prophylaxis with mefloquine when taken every other week (95% CI 68% to 90%). No serious adverse reactions were observed. Mild adverse events were equally frequent in mefloquine users and chloroquine users, and the frequency of these events declined with increasing duration of prophylaxis. Mefloquine is an effective and well-tolerated drug for prophylaxis of malaria by short-term and long-term travellers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The World Health Organisation has developed disease-specific clinical case-definitions to guide management of children with fever or cough, the cardinal signs of malaria and pneumonia. To assess the usefulness of the case-definitions and to investigate their interaction, we studied children with fever or cough brought to a hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. For all children, a thick blood smear was examined for Plasmodium falciparum parasites. Chest radiography was done only for children with parasitaemia and those who satisfied the clinical case-definition for pneumonia; others were assumed to have normal chest radiographs. Of 1599 enrolled children, 566 (35%) had parasitaemia and 116 had radiographic evidence of pneumonia; 43 had both pneumonia and parasitaemia. Of the 471 children who met the clinical definition for pneumonia, 449 (95%) also met the malaria clinical definition. Among children with radiographic evidence of pneumonia, the clinical definition for malaria was not predictive of parasitaemia (sensitivity 93%, specificity 5%). Whether malaria parasitaemia was present or absent, the pneumonia clinical definition distinguished children with and without radiographic evidence of pneumonia (sensitivity and specificity > 60%). Children who satisfied the pneumonia clinical definition were more likely to have radiographic evidence of pneumonia (odds ratio 10.4, 95% confidence interval 5.2-20.7), parasitaemia (1.6, 1.2-2.2), or both at the same time (4.2, 2.1-8.4) than were children who did not meet the definition. Children who satisfy the malaria and pneumonia clinical definitions need treatment for both disorders. Scarce diagnostic methods, especially microscopy, are needed for more specific treatment of children with fever and cough.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Africa, blood transfusions are frequently given to treat severe paediatric anaemia. Because of the risk of HIV transmission, identification of when transfusion will reduce the risk of death for severely anaemic children has become increasingly important. For all children admitted to a Kenyan hospital from October, 1989, to October, 1990, we collected data on clinical presentation, haemoglobin (Hb), receipt of transfusion, and in-hospital survival. Of 2433 admissions, 29% (684) had severe anaemia (Hb less than 5.0 g/dl), and 20% (483) received blood transfusions. Based on laboratory criteria only, children with Hb less than 3.9 g/dl who were transfused had lower mortality than those with Hb less than 3.9 g/dl who were not transfused, but this finding applied only to children transfused on the day of admission (odds ratio [OR] 0.30; 95% Cl 0.14, 0.61) or the day after admission (OR 0.37; 95% Cl 0.14, 1.00). Based on a combination of laboratory and clinical criteria, children with clinical signs of respiratory distress and Hb less than 4.7 g/dl who were transfused had lower morality than those who were not (OR 0.19; 95% Cl 0.09, 0.41). Among children without respiratory distress, there was no association between receipt of transfusion and mortality, irrespective of admission Hb. The frequency of blood transfusion can be reduced and survival enhanced by targeting blood to those children with severe anaemia and clinical signs of respiratory distress, and by using transfusion early in the course of hospitalisation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the United States (US), travelers who have had malaria or who have taken antimalarial chemoprophylaxis are deferred as blood donors for 3 years to prevent transfusion-transmitted malaria. To assess the impact of shortening this 3-year exclusion period, national malaria surveillance data from 1972 to 1988 were reviewed. The average annual rate of transfusion-transmitted malaria is 0.25 cases per million units of blood collected. Of 45 reported cases, 38 percent were caused by Plasmodium malariae, 29 percent by P. falciparum, 24 percent by P. vivax, and 9 percent by P. ovale. Thirty-two donors were implicated in 34 cases of transfusion-transmitted malaria. Of 30 implicated donors whose native country was identified, 23 (77%) were foreign nationals and 7 (23%) were from the US. In a review of all imported malaria cases by species and by interval between date of entry and onset of illness, 98 percent of P. falciparum, 86 percent of P. malariae, 76 percent of P. vivax, and 74 percent of P. ovale infections became symptomatic within 6 months of the patient's arrival in the US, regardless of the use of prophylaxis. Shortening to 6 months the donor exclusion period for US travelers to malarious areas would result in a minimum of 70,000 additional blood donors' being made available, with a maximum annual increase of 0.03 additional cases of transfusion-transmitted malaria. The potential benefit of bringing healthy travelers back into the donor pool after a shorter period of exclusion merits consideration by the blood banking industry.