By: Ira Hope, RN
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that targets the liver and causes both acute and chronic disease.According to the World Health Organization, about 2 billion people worldwide have been infected with the virus and about 350 million live with chronic infection. About 600,000 people die annually due to Hepatitis B infection. 25% of the people infected with this type of hepatitis will probably have liver cirrhosis when they age.
When compared to HIV, this is 50 times more prevalent and a occupational health hazard for medical personnel. A vaccine specific to this type of virus is readily available for optimum protection.
Common modes of transmission:
- perinatal (from mother to baby at birth)
- early childhood infections (inapparent infection through close interpersonal contact with infected household contacts)
- unsafe injections practices
- blood transfusions
- sexual contact
Contact with blood or body fluids with persons with Hepatitis B.
This is not transmitted with casual contact with infected persons.
Signs and Symptoms:
- yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- dark urine
- extreme fatigue
- abdominal pain
- Liver Cancer
- Liver Cirrhosis
- Management of pain and other associated symptoms.
- Adequate nutritional balance, including replacement of fluids that are lost from vomiting and diarrhea are implemented too.
- Chronic hepatitis B can be treated with interferon and anti-viral agents.
- Educate would-be parents that infants should have the hepatitis B vaccine. this is the mainstay of hepatitis B prevention.
- Inform that the certain protection may last for almost 20 years, updates of screening must be done.
- For blood donors, proper screening must be done in order to be sure that the blood being donated is Hepatitis B virus free.
- Assist in administration of Hepatitis B immuno globulin.
- Teach clients proper handling of blood and body fluids as well as practice of correct hand washing.
- Encourage clients to use yellow-colored garbage bag as a sign of infectious waste which is universally recognized.
- For persons diagnosed to be positive with Hepatitis B, assist in feeding them with small frequent meals containing high-calorie, low-fat diet.
- Listen to the family and the client as to any concerns about the alterations in the daily living due to the disease process.
Photo credits: www.nlm.nih.gov