Question: In 1985 I contracted Malaria from a blood transfusion during childbirth complications.
I gave birth on Thursday on Saturday I started to become ill terrible headache. high fever etc. I stayed at the hospital in with a fever of no lower than 105 for 8 days until a new Indian doctor in our area recognized what it was by my blood panels. I was started on a drug that I cannot recall at this time that was given through the vein. Every couple of days it would blow my vein due to strength, I continued to be in the hospital for 28 days and then a homebound nurse to give my meds 2 times per day at home and this was for 2 weeks. I did not have any further complications. I have had many odd illnesses over the years and also cancer.
In the 1990’s I had a tumor removed and when the pathology report can back it said “History of Malaria.” This has happened several times over the years. I do not know what type of Malaria I had. the small hospital closed in the late 1980.s and records were stored and then destroyed. This is something I guess I will never know. I was 18 at the time and a new mother and all I cared about was getting strong and raising my son.
Why does this show up on pathology reports? Are there usually any long term complications with Malaria?
Any light that you can shed on this or direct me to the person that might could, I would greatly appreciate it.
Answer: Long-term pathologies due to malaria are not well recognized or characterized, and there are only a few suspected pathologies that would manifest physically in a pathology examination (conversely, an increasing number of studies are showing long-term cognitive impacts, especially for children who contract cerebral malaria). Some people who suffer from repeated attacks of malaria may show some signs of an enlarged liver and/or spleen, but I would be surprised if this was the case for you, with a one-off attack and many years ago. I think it’s more likely that your general practitioner included your history of malaria in your medical charts, which get passed on to the pathologist when s/he does the examination; s/he then includes it in the pathology report in case there is relevance to any of the report findings.