July 28th is World Hepatitis Day. What do you know of this virus? If your mom or dad has one of the viruses, you’re probably well aware of the changes it brings to usual routines.
Hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C are all viruses that affect the liver. As the inflammation sets in, liver function is impaired. There are vaccines against hepatitis A and B, but there isn’t one for hepatitis C. It’s estimated that half of all those infected with hep C don’t realize they have it. Around 66% of those with hep B don’t realize it.
What Causes Hepatitis?
Some everyday behaviors can lead to hepatitis infections. Sometimes, it’s out of your control. For example, a person who was born to a mother who had hep B or C is at risk. Sharing a toothbrush with a partner increases your risk. Hep A occurs when you eat food or drink water or beverages with the virus.
If your mom or dad has hep A, it usually goes away on its own. Hep B and C often require medical treatments. This is especially important with hep C that has no vaccination available. Over half of those who have it go on to develop a chronic infection, and up to a quarter of those people end up with cirrhosis within 20 years.
How Does Home Health Care Help?
People with hep B usually take a prescription anti-viral medication. Your parent takes the pill. If side effects like nausea and vomiting occur, IV fluids may become necessary, but that’s not common. Hep C can be a little harder to treat at home. One of the more effective treatments is an injection that has to be given once a week.
Your mom or dad has hep C and needs the injections, but you’re not comfortable giving them. If your parent needs help and you just can’t do it, call a home health care agency. You can have nurses come by once a week to administer your parent’s injection to stop the virus before it harms the liver.
The other benefit to home health care nurses comes from the blood tests that become necessary. Your parent’s doctor may recommend routine blood tests to check liver function. If it’s hard to get your parent to leave home and go to the medical office, ask the doctor if you can work with a home health care nurse.
The nurse can draw blood and deliver it to the medical office for testing. It saves you a trip and allows your parent to stay at home until energy levels and side effects like nausea go away. Call a home health care agency and schedule IV and injection services today.
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