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Hepatitis C In Children

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Hepatitis C is inflammation of the liver caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Hepatitis C is less common in children than in adults.


WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child 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 child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your child's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.

Antiviral medicine

helps keep the virus from spreading. Medicines may also prevent or decrease liver swelling and damage.

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 your child has. Healthcare providers can decide how long your child needs treatment with this information.
  • Hepatitis C profile serological test checks the activity and number of viruses present in your child's blood.
  • Blood tests are done to check the enzymes (chemicals) and other substances made in your child's liver. Test results also tell healthcare providers how well your child's liver is working.
  • A liver biopsy is used to test a sample of your child's liver for swelling, scarring, and other damage. A liver biopsy may help healthcare providers learn if your child needs treatment for HCV.
  • An ultrasound may be done to check for signs of HCV and to look for other liver problems.

Treatment:

  • Plasma or platelet transfusions may be needed if your child's blood is not clotting as it should. Plasma and platelets are parts of his blood that help his blood clot. He will get the transfusion through an IV.
  • Surgery may be done to remove part of your child's liver. A liver transplant may be done if your child's liver stops working.

RISKS:

Your child's risk for liver damage is increased if he has chronic hepatitis C. He may develop cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) when he is older. He may also develop liver cancer. Your child may need to be treated in a hospital if his symptoms are severe or he has liver damage.

CARE AGREEMENT:

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

© 2016 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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