Wednesday, April 01, 2009

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps Malaria Patients

Severe cases of malaria lead to vomiting and not eating properly, causing low blood sugar. This condition, hypoglycemia, can rapidly lead to coma or death if left untreated. The typical treatment for it is an intravenous glucose drip, however this is not always available in the most remote malaria-stricken areas. A recent study showed that placing water-moistened spoonfuls of sugar under the patient's tongue achieves similar results. The sugar gets absorbed quickly, and raises the glucose levels at nearly the same rate as intravenous equipment. This method is far from perfect, but for those who lack access to proper equipment, it is the difference between life and death.
Source: Reuters