Although hyponatraemia has been consistently shown to occur in a large proportion of children with cerebral malaria, no statistical relationship has been established between the incidence of hyponatraemia and that of malaria-attributable mortality. However, hyponatraemia is not a benign state in other conditions (such as meningitis) or in surgical patients, and is likely to add to malarial deaths. The high mortality rate seen among cases of cerebral malaria, despite all efforts to curb it, therefore calls for a more aggressive approach to the management of hyponatraemia. Current methods for the administration of hypotonic saline and isotonic glucose solutions need review. In addition, children admitted with cerebral malaria should have their electrolyte status monitored to identify new or ongoing hyponatraemia. When hyponatraemia is discovered, it should be quickly and actively corrected.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases