January 20 2011 (Thursday) - Malaria Revisited

On December 7 last year I mentioned that I had some malaria training. I say “training” – I had a look over an on-line atlas which features pictures which are probably computer enhanced. I then was set four slides to examine. I mentioned at the time that the slides weren’t particularly well stained, but was told to get on with them.

In retrospect I really could have done with having feedback at the time. Waiting for six weeks means that I have forgotten all about what I saw. In any event I’m told I didn’t do too well. I was given four sides to look at, none of which were of any particular quality – all were very blurred.

  • The first one I correctly identified as not having any parasites
  • The second one had no parasites, but I reported a P. falciparum infestation of 0.001%. I can vaguely remember not being happy with that slide and erring on the side of caution. In a real-life situation I would have asked for a second opinion.
  • The third I correctly identified as having a P.vivax infestation.
  • The fourth I spotted there was an infestation, but got the species wrong.
At the time I wrote “I can’t help but feel that if I can spot the fact that a patient has malaria, then that is good enough. Other people far more expert than I can identify the species and quantitate the parasitaemia.

Enough sulking – what can I do too improve? I need training – and that isn’t immediately forthcoming. I’ve asked for a day’s secondment to the London School of Tropical Medicine. I wonder if I’ll get it.

1 comment:

  1. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

    Training on CSTM