Terrie Taylor, M.D.on Severe Maleria Fevers in Malawi

February 26, 2010. Dr. Terrie Taylor, an Osteopathic Physician, is the University Distinguished Professor of internal medicine in the College of Osteopathic Medicine, Michigan State University and the Director of Pediatric Malaria Research at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre Malawi. Dr. Taylor's lecture for class was entitled: "Severe Malaria in African Children: Clinical Features, and Pathogenesis."

Dr. Terrie Taylor taught class at the CRND and in addition sharing her insights as a malaria researcher and clinical instructor, she painted a vivid portrait of a doctor's life in the field and in a Malawi hospital working with extremely sick patients - many children:

"Intellectually it's very fascinating, and also it's very fun to work with a population that's sick through no fault of their own. They happen to be born in a peri-equatorial area, they haven't been couch potatoes for 25 years and expecting you to wave a magic wand and fix them. There aren't insurance company's, there aren't lawyers, there's none of that overlaying the practice of medicine - so it's a very pure doctor-patient relationship. The parents are fabulous. It's sort of the classic way to practice  medicine."

Dr. Taylor discussed the pathogenesis of severe and fatal malarial infections in children, risk factors, symptoms, clinical management and complications, post-mortem autopsy, and an analysis of a case-control study of neurological complications to prepare students for their service project. Students in this semester's class undertook a clinical research project to investigate  the post-recovery neurological sequelae of cerebral malaria. By scoring the fever charts of malarial patients from Malawi and developing a cumulative "fever load" score associated with infection, students aim to contribute to clinical decision trees that affect treatment. These trees assist practitioners in determining whether aggressive treatment of fever can reduce subsequent seizures, memory and learning disorders and other neurological sequelae. Additionally, students are developing medical history notebooks for families and clinicians in Malawi.




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