Concept

Blackwater fever

Summary
Blackwater fever is a complication of malaria infection in which red blood cells burst in the bloodstream (hemolysis), releasing hemoglobin directly into the blood vessels and into the urine, frequently leading to kidney failure. The disease was first linked to malaria by the Sierra Leone Creole physician John Farrell Easmon in his 1884 pamphlet entitled The Nature and Treatment of Blackwater Fever. Easmon coined the name "blackwater fever" and was the first to successfully treat such cases following the publication of his pamphlet. Signs and symptoms Within a few days of onset there are chills, with rigor, high fever, jaundice, vomiting, rapidly progressive anemia, and dark red or black urine. Causes The cause of hemolytic crises in this disease is unknown (mainly due to intravascular haemolysis). There is rapid and massive destruction of red blood cells resulting in hemoglobinemia (hemoglobin in the blood, but outside the red blood cells), hemoglobinuria (hemoglo
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