What are the procedures for monitoring patients with babesiosis?

Updated: Apr 01, 2021
  • Author: Rachel E Strength, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Patients with severe babesiosis need to be hospitalized. In addition to receiving anti-Babesia treatment, they may require supportive care. Critically ill patients should be transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU). Patients with mild-to-moderate babesiosis who are discharged from the hospital should undergo the same laboratory tests as hospitalized patients.

Patients being treated for babesiosis should be monitored clinically, and serial blood smears should be obtained to document the degree of parasitemia and the effectiveness of therapy. Serial CBC counts may be obtained to assess the reticulocyte response and evaluate decrease in the hemolytic process. Be alert for the possibility of hemophagocytic syndrome.

Monitor the level of oxygenation, and watch for the development of respiratory complications after the initiation of treatment in patients who present with respiratory complaints. Respiratory distress may be due to endotoxin sensitivity; endotoxin release often results from medication-induced intraerythrocytic death of the parasites. Mechanical ventilation may be necessary in patients with severe disease.

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