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Hepatitis C

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Hepatitis C is inflammation of the liver caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.


WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Medicine:

Antiviral medicines help keep the virus from spreading. Medicines may also prevent or decrease swelling of and damage to your liver.

Tests:

  • Blood tests are done to check the enzymes (chemicals) and other substances made in your liver. Test results also tell healthcare providers how well your liver is working. The type of HCV may also be tested. This information helps healthcare providers decide how long you need treatment.

  • Hepatitis C profile serological test checks the activity and number of viruses present in your blood.

  • A liver biopsy may show your liver function and help plan treatment.

  • Other tests may be needed to check for liver disease and liver function. Tests may include an endoscopy or a CT scan.

Treatment:

  • Plasma or platelet transfusions may be needed if your blood is not clotting as it should. Plasma and platelets are parts of your blood that help your blood clot. You will get the transfusion through an IV.

  • Surgery may be done to remove a part of your liver. A liver transplant may be done if your liver stops working. Your diseased liver is removed and replaced with a healthy, donated liver.

RISKS:

Even with treatment, hepatitis C can damage your liver. You may develop cirrhosis or portal hypertension (increased pressure in the vein that goes to your liver) or liver failure. You may need a liver transplant if the damage is severe. Liver disease may lead to increased pressure in your brain.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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