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Any help?
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Any help?

My brother, 57, was diagnosed with alcoholic hepatitis two days ago and given less than six months to live.  When he had surgery on his intestine three years ago the doctor told us his liver looked good.  A CT scan revealed a "fatty liver" and when a doc did an EDG on Wednesday he told us this horrible news.  He quit drinking the day the doctor told him about the fatty liver...cold turkey...never had any symptoms of withdrawals.  He has severe jaundice and bilirubin score of 19 (10 days ago), 31.5 two days ago, 29.8 yesterday and I don't know yet what it is today.  I asked the doctor who did the stomach scope (without looking at his CT scan) what we were going to do next, and he said "nothing".  They told him if he didn't want to consider transplant they would send him home with hospice.  I really don't understand how a doctor seeing only the stomach in a test can say that.  We are moving him today to a different hospital for a second opinion.  They are not treating the jaundice, his stomach is huge from fluid and they won't drain it to give him any relief.  Has anyone else gone through this type of problem and what did you do?
I am sorry to hear that your brother is in such a dire situation and receiving no medical help because they consider his condition fatal. Where that is true or not, on a specialist in liver disease (hepatologist) can say. They do not have such specialists at local hospitals.

Your brother needs to be seen and be under the care of a liver transplant center. ASAP! Other doctors are not experts in liver disease. Unfortunately there are no centers in Mississippi that I could find. The closest ones are.

Ochsner Foundation Hospital - Jefferson, LA
Adults (21 years of age and older) – Liver
Transplant Hotline 1-800-643-1635

The Ochsner Liver Transplant Team features a highly-experienced group of transplant surgeons, hepatologists, coordinators, social workers, medical sub-specialists, pediatric subspecialists and a variety of ancillary care providers specialized in the care and management of patients with complex hepatobiliary diseases. And Ochsner remains the only Medicare-approved liver transplant program in New Orleans and a Center of Excellence for many insurers.

Tulane University Hospital
Adults (21 years of age and older) – Liver
1415 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112

Methodist University Hospital
Adults (21 years of age and older) – Liver

The University of Alabama Hospital
Adults (21 years of age and older) – Liver & Lung(s)

Exactly how ill your bother is it is impossible to tell from the information you provided. Having bilirubin level that high is usually a sign of liver failure. They are treating your brother assuming he will die sooner so they are not going to try to cure anything only stabilize him well enough to leave the hospital and go home and have hospice care. They do not have the expertise to help him even if they wanted to. Only a liver transplant center can help someone with advanced liver disease. So your brother only chance of living is to get him to a transplant center ASAP and have them evaluate his condition and see if their is a possibility of helping him. In the worse case they know how to make him as comfortable as possible should his condition to incurable.

From everything you say, if your brother does not want a transplant he has no chance of living. It is his decision to make.

An issue I must bring up is your brother's alcoholism. People that have been drinking will have to wait for a certain period of time in order to be listed for a life-saving transplant. They will not be listed for transplant unless somehow they can convince the doctors they will never drink again. To give a donor liver to someone who drinks alcohol is pointless as they will end up dying anyway if they drink after their transplant.

To have any hope of your brother surviving you must get him to a transplant center ASAP! Transferring from other hospitals will do no good and he will get worse and worse because they don't have the specialists and expertise to help him. I would call Ochsner Foundation Hospital and see if they will accept him. Today or tomorrow. That is the best chance your brother has.

I wish you and your brother the best of luck.
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