(Last Updated on : 01/01/2009)
Black-water fever is a complication of malaria characterized by haemoglobinuria or black water. There is the presence of blood pigment in the urine in this disease. It is also characterized by intravascular haemolysis, haemoglobinuria and kidney failure. Blackwater fever is caused by heavy parasitization of red blood cells with Plasmodium falciparum.
Causes and Symptoms
Black-water fever destroys the red blood corpuscles, resulting in the urine turning a dark red colour. It is an acute disease and generally occurs in tropical countries. Central Africa, India, and the Far East are susceptible areas. Ayurveda maintains that black-water fever is a result of the vitiation of vata and kapha.
The cardinal symptoms of black water fever can be mentioned as temperature of the body ranging from 40°to 40.6°C, rigor or shivering, nausea, bilious vomiting, gastric discomfort, jaundice, and the passage of blackish or brownish urine due to the presence of the blood pigment in the urine. Both the spleen and the liver are enlarged and tender. The temperature of black-water fever falls after a few hours. It is preceded by profuse sweating, and the skin becomes jaundiced. Mild cases may recover in a couple of days but if there is delayed diagnosis or carelessness in the initiation of the treatment, the fever may last for many days. There may be a succession of attacks emaciating the patient. The disease occurs mostly in cases where quinine has been administered for a long period.
: The patient should be kept warm. A mild laxative or a soap water enema may be given to deal with constipation, which is generally present. Water from a fresh coconut should be drunk instead of water.
Diet and Other Regimen
: Sweet substances and liquids like sugarcane juice, fruit juice, and dry grapes should form the mainstay of the patient's diet. Spices, fats, tobacco, and alcohol are contraindicated. Strict bed rest is advised for the patient.