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Table 1 Definitions used in this study*

From: Characterization of a malaria outbreak in Colombia in 2010

Complication Description
Cerebral malaria Altered state of consciousness (irreversible coma), unconsciousness with the possibility of waking up, prostration, extreme weakness (patient cannot sit or stand), generalized convulsions or behavioral disturbance.
Renal complication Serum creatinine > 3.0 mg/dl and/or urine vol < 400 ml in 24 hours (adults) or <12 ml/kg of body weight in 24 hours (children)
Lung or respiratory distress syndrome Increased respiratory rate at admission, presence of abnormal lung sounds, such as wheezing, rhonchi, rales, and radiographic changes consistent with pulmonary oedema.
Shock Systolic blood pressure <70 mm Hg in adults or <50 mm Hg in children.
Hypoglycaemia Glucose < 40 mg/dl.
Hyperemesis Uncontrollable and frequent vomiting, >5 times in 24 hours, which prevents anti-malarial treatment orally.
Hyperpyrexia Axillary temperature >39.5°C
Severe anemia Haematocrit < 15% or Hb <5 g/dl, Spontaneous bleeding or disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), acidaemia/acidosis (clinical signs), macroscopic haemoglobinuria
Complicated malaria case Any patient with probable case of malaria complicated by the presence of asexual (trophozoites/schizonts) of P. falciparum confirmed by parasitological examination and who has been ruled out another etiology, or any patient with confirmed cases of malaria with >50,000 parasite asexual forms /μL (hyperparasitaemia)
Death from malaria Patient with signs and symptoms of complicated malaria, with confirmed diagnose of P. falciparum (or P. vivax) or associated infection.
Complication hepatic jaundice Total serum bilirubin >3 mg/dl and altered liver function tests.
  1. * SIVIGILA definitions.