I currently have a family member who has had hepatitis C for several years accompanied by cirrhosis. 3 days ago he was admitted to the hospital with internal bleeding. They have been unable to find the source of the bleeding and have been giving him blood transfusions daily. He now has a staph infection from his IV site. Does anyone know what the immediate prognosis is from here? We aren't getting any real answers from the hospital staff. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
The bleeding sounds like varicies to me, a common problem with decompensated cirrhosis.
If this is so, he may eventually need a liver transplant.
You need to talk to the doctor, hopefully a hepatologist, a liver doctor, in charge.
Demand to speak with the doctor, often lower hospital staff cannot talk to you about his condition.
However, I don't have any idea what the immediate prognosis could be.
Maybe one of our more knowledgeable members will come along with better insight.
He has been on the transplant list for years. His liver doctor will be coming up from Chicago tomorrow, while I am at work. I know his prognosis can't be good. Especially with this now uncontrolled bleed. I guess I can't wrap my head around how they are going to stop a bleed they can't find, when he doesn't have enough blood to do a surgery to find it. Or even survive a transplant if a liver were available. Thank you for the response. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post.
Ophanedhawk is correct. Internal bleeding is a commonly complication of advanced cirrhosis. It is called "Variceal Bleeding". The entire digestive track can bleed from the esophagus to stomach, and rectum.
The source of the bleed can usually be found with an endoscopy and then repaired. When the source cannot be detected via upper endoscopy, bleeding scans and angiogram can be performed to find the source of bleeding.
You say he is at the hospital. ('His liver doctor will be coming up from Chicago tomorrow')?
Is he at the transplant center hospital being taken care of by the transplant staff? He needs to be. Other doctors are not knowledgeable and experienced in treating the complications of End-Stage Liver Disease (ESLD).
So most importantly they need to be under the care of the transplant staff!!!
I do know enough about his condition but is the majority of cases the bleeding can be stopped and his condition stabilized.
'He now has a staph infection from his IV site.'
Infections are another thing the patients with ESLD are prone to because our immune systems are not working properly. This is one reason hospitals want to have people leave as soon as possible. Hospitals have many type of infections. If they know the type of infection your family member has they should be able to give him an antibiotic by IV to treat it and then continue oral antibiotics at home if needed.
Your family member it going through a temporary crisis. Transplant Centers treat patients every day with these complications of cirrhosis. It is up to his body to be able to recover from these setbacks when the proper treatments are given. Since I don't know how ill they are I can estimate how serious this could be.
Do you know their MELD score?
Thank you Hector. Today he is doing better. The bleeding has finally stopped although they never found the source. His legs are swollen very large and he can barely move them. He is at a fantastic medical center, and is under the care of a transplant doctor, but the doctor is in chicago. He makes frequent trips up there to get his values(which I don't know) checked. His doctor was in today and will be back in the morning to see how he is progressing. Now the goal is to get the excess fluid off of his body and get him mobile again.
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