Severe malaria presenting to the ED: A collaborative approach utilizing exchange transfusion and artesunate

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We describe the case of a previously healthy 33 year-old male pilot recently arrived to the United States from Africa. The patient presented to our ED febrile and disoriented, with projectile coffee-ground emesis. He was later found to have severe malaria and cerebral parasitemia. Due to the severity of his illness, the patient received the anti-malarial medication Artesunate as well as several exchange transfusions. Within 48 h his parasitic load was reduced from 42% to 0.4%. The following is an account of a collaborative effort that spans the specialties of emergency medicine, infectious disease, and critical care medicine.

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