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A Case Report on Leech Infestation as a Cause of Severe Anemia in a 10-Month-Old Infant in Ethiopia

Authors Getahun AM, Endayehu Y, Berhanu GD

Received 15 November 2020

Accepted for publication 10 February 2021

Published 18 February 2021 Volume 2021:14 Pages 111—114


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ronald Prineas

Amsalu Molla Getahun,1 Yichalal Endayehu,2 Gebrie Dinkayehu Berhanu1

1Department of Surgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Debre Tabor University, Debre Tabor, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia; 2Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Debre Tabor University, Debre Tabor, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia

Correspondence: Amsalu Molla Getahun Email

Background: Leeches are blood sucking hermaphroditic parasites belonged to the phylum Annelida of the class Hirudinea. Based on the location of leech infestation, the patient may present with anemia and respiratory symptoms. Even though Leech infestation is mentioned as common problem in African countries and the common cause of anemia, especially in children but it is not mentioned as a cause of severe anemia in an infant.
Case Presentation: In this paper, we are reporting a 10 months old baby presented to Debre Tabor General Hospital with nasal bleeding and blood tingled vomiting of four days duration. With the diagnosis of severe anemia secondary to leech infestation, she was transfused with 360 mL of whole blood and the leech was removed from the oropharynx with McGill forceps. She was followed for 48 hours. There was no ongoing bleeding; the vital signs became stable, and then patient’s parents were advised to boil drinking water before use. Finally, the infant discharged with improvement.
Conclusion and Recommendation: We concluded that leech infestation should be included as the differential diagnosis of an infant presented with nasal bleeding and blood tingled vomiting who came from rural areas.

Keywords: leech, epistaxis, hematemesis, severe anemia, infant, Ethiopia

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