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Viral Hepatitis C

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

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


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.

RISKS:

Treatment for hepatitis C may damage your kidneys and cause side effects, such as flu-like symptoms, depression, and headaches. The earlier hepatitis C is treated, the better your chances of preventing future liver problems, such as cirrhosis or liver cancer.

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.

Tests:

  • Enzyme immunoassay test (EIA) is a blood test that checks for hepatitis C antibodies. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to attack viruses or bacteria.

  • Genotyping is a blood test that tests the genotype of the HCV that you have. Genotype is the genetic make-up of the virus. Healthcare providers can decide how long you need treatment with this information.

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

  • Blood tests are done to check the enzymes (chemicals) and other substances made in liver. Test results also tell caregivers how well your liver is working.

  • Liver biopsy: A liver biopsy is when a small piece of your liver is removed and sent to a lab for tests. Caregivers will clean your skin, and you may be given medicine to numb (lose feeling) in the area. A needle is put through the wall of your abdomen or between your ribs. The needle is put into the liver and a small piece is taken out. A bandage will be placed over the area.

Treatment:

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

  • 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.

© 2014 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.

Learn more about Viral Hepatitis C (Inpatient Care)

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