Hepatitis: Nursing

00:00 / 00:00



Hepatitis refers to an inflammation of the liver due to infection or injury, and it’s often self-limiting, but some cases can result in extensive liver damage.

Now, let’s quickly review some anatomy and physiology. The liver is a large, solid organ located in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, which has several functions, including the production of bile, cholesterol, and certain blood proteins like albumin and clotting factors; as well as helping with glucose and fat metabolism; detoxification through medication and alcohol metabolism; and it also plays a big role in bilirubin metabolism.

Now, hepatitis can be caused by a viral infection, called viral hepatitis, or other kinds of injury, in which case it’s called non-viral hepatitis.

The more common one is viral hepatitis, which is caused by hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, or E. Hepatitis A virus is usually transmitted through the fecal-oral route, through contaminated food or water, or through person-to-person contact; and risk factors include living or working in nursing homes, daycare centers, and living in or traveling to countries with poor access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene; as well as sexual contact with an infected individual.

Next, we have hepatitis B, C, and D viruses, which are primarily transmitted through blood and other body fluids; so the main risk factors include intravenous drug use, blood transfusions, hemodialysis, and working as a healthcare professional; as well as high-risk sexual behavior, such as having multiple partners or not using protection. Hepatitis B can also be transmitted vertically to the baby before or after birth.

Of note, the hepatitis D virus can’t cause an infection in the absence of hepatitis B virus. So the most important risk factor for a hepatitis D infection is a hepatitis B infection.


Copyright © 2023 Elsevier, its licensors, and contributors. All rights are reserved, including those for text and data mining, AI training, and similar technologies.

Cookies are used by this site.

USMLE® is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). COMLEX-USA® is a registered trademark of The National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners, Inc. NCLEX-RN® is a registered trademark of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc. Test names and other trademarks are the property of the respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Osmosis or this website.