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Lani, BSN, RN
Lani, BSN, RN, Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4246
Experience:  A Registered Nurse for 19 years.
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my son has hep c..he has been throwing up blood, has

Customer Question

my son has hep c..he has been throwing up blood, has dark urine, stomach and chest pain and infection after infection...he got his blood test results today for liver damage......it is supposed to be 80 and his was 40...am i going to lose my son to this disease? he is getting no treatment right now....
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Lani, BSN, RN replied 6 years ago.
HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

-Where is you son now? How old is he?
-Since when he is throwing up blood? Is this the first time?
-How long ago is his hepatitis C infection?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
andy is 26 yrs old.......he is in prison for drug treatment right now..i have been told that they will do no treatment there and also that he cant be treated until he has been off of drugs for a year....he has been throwing up blood for about 2 months...he has thrown up blood 4 or 5 times.....we arent sure when he was infected but was diagnosed in december 2007...he got hep c from sharing needles using meth....we think he got it from an ex girlfriend about 4 yrs ago...he had staff infection a couple of years ago and had a real hard time getting rid of it..he has had sinus infections over and over in the past 3 yrs.....he sleeps a lot now that he is off of meth......he hasnt used since september 2007...
Expert:  Lani, BSN, RN replied 6 years ago.

Hello,

I am quite not familiar about the policy of the place where he is now, but his condition as you describe needs an immediate medical attention. Hepatitis C do not only cause liver damage but can cause complications associated with bleeding. There are lots of conditions that needs to be investigated according to the few symptoms you mentioned.

If his condition remain uninvestigated and untreated, it can become more complicated. It is very important at this point that he receives proper treatment. You have to find a way to have him examined by a doctor and have the required investigations.

I hope that helps.

Lani, BSN, RN, Nurse
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 4246
Experience: A Registered Nurse for 19 years.
Lani, BSN, RN and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
what you told me doesnt really help much......i know he needs medical attention...i have no control over what he prison system does or does not do..he will be home in may and i have every intention of seeking help for him....my question was...am i going to lose him? is his condition that serious at this point?
Expert:  Lani, BSN, RN replied 6 years ago.

Hello,

It is not easy to tell whether he is in a serious condition at this point without proper investigations.

Alright, since you are curious on that aspect, let me mention some PROBABILITIES which will remain UNCERTAIN until promen otherwise.

First, to check on the liver condition, liver functions are measured as the indicators of how the liver is doing. The liver enzymes that are usually checked include SGPT,SGOT, Alkaline phosphatase and may include LDH or GGT. (I'm quite not sure which result are you referring to as "supposed to be 80 and his was 40".

Probability #1. Liver infection such as Hepatitis C can cause some blood clotting problems which will make a person high risk to easy bleeding. Bleeding can occur in any part of the body. With your son "throwing up blood", any gastrointestinal bleeding can be considered as the source of the bleeding. If the ulcers had just started and are not yet extensive, he will have minor bleeding at the start which is not enough to cause an immediate death but that will be enough to cause some anemic effects. If left untreated, the severity can increase and he can end up having severe bleeding which can led to shock and death.

Probability #2. Liver diseases such as hepatitis C can cause liver damage which can result to portal hypertension. As the consequence, it can cause ESOPHAGEAL VARICES (dilated veins in the esophagus). The dilated veins can rupture and that is one of the reasons of "throwing up" blood. Mild damage on the veins can cause mild bleeding at the start. But when the condition is uncontrolled with further increase of portal pressure and other when other precipitating factors will be involved,a large vein can rupture and cause massive bleeding. Without intensive management, the person can die in an instant or very soon. Supposing, esophageal varices is the cause of throwing up of blood of your son, it is not a good sign as a major bleeding is unpredictable and can occur any time, and it is very possible to cause death.

Possibility # XXXXX With your son having recurrent infections, we can consider immunosuppression. That can be attributed to an existing chronic liver disease but as a drug user, HIV infection needs to be ruled out. With different infections he got, there is a possibility of having chest infection such as TB. Chest infection can be suspected as the cause of "throwing up blood". It will not cause an immediate death as the disease usually progresses with some time. If left untreated, the disease can become intensive which can lead to massive bleeding and breathing problems. Yes, he can die from that situation.

Possibility #4. With immunosuppression, he can have sort of different kind of infections which when left untreated can progress into more serious condition. He can gradually deteriorate, can have sepsis or other body organs failure, which can end up to severe complications leading to death.

As a straightforward answer to your question, we cannot tell for sure. He is in a situation that maybe not so serious now, but there is no guarantee to tell he is safe based on what he is going through. As previously mentioned, depending on the extent of the disease and the cause of "throwing up",massive bleeding can occur anytime from now, and if that's the case, yes you can possibly lose him.

The only way to tell his current situation is to have investigations done - blood tests, chest X-rays, ultrasound, culture tests,endoscopic procedures, etc. Only by then, we can at least tell the outcome or prognosis of his condition.

I hope that helps. Thank you.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
thank you very much....this is the kind of explanations i have been looking for...he has had chest x-rays and they were ok....the er pumped his stomach at one visit and there was blood in the stomach...that is as far at they went...hiv has been ruled out....his test was negative...twice....his hep c test was positive twice....we are just going to have to wait until he comes home in may and get him to a real doctor..i have started arrangements for that wit our local health department....i was told he cant be treated until he has been off of drugs and alcohol for a yr and that wont be until dec 20....all the information i have found about hep c has been very general information.. thank you for some realistic senerios....i want the truth..not a make me feel better explanation....thank you again
Expert:  Lani, BSN, RN replied 6 years ago.

You're always welcome.

If he has some blood in his stomach, then most likely he has stomach ulcers. If he is taking the needed diet and at least antacids, and not taking alcohol, then his condition is supposed to be not that serious. If his bleeding is from esophageal varices, then he is still at risk.

Let's just hope and pray that he will be fine in this coming few months and receive proper treatment as soon as he gets home.

Take care!

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