Paediatric Acute Liver Failure: Frequently Asked Questions

October 23, 2019

Paediatric Acute Liver Failure: Frequently Asked Questions
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What is acute liver failure?

Acute liver failure happens where normally functioning cells die or function abnormally. It may be sudden or may happen within a span of few days or weeks. The terminology used for this disease earlier was fulminant liver failure.

What can cause acute liver failure?

Some possible causes include:

  • Infections
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Autoimmune liver disease
  • Blood disorders
  • Medication (including alternative medicines)
  • Paracetamol overdose (often accidental)
  • Recreational drugs, especially ecstasy
  • Poisonous substances
  • Complications caused by another illness

In many cases it is not possible to find a specific cause.

What are the signs and symptoms of acute liver failure?

The signs and symptoms can vary but often include:

  • General symptoms of feeling unwell
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Jaundice
  • Coagulopathy
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Swelling of abdomen and lower legs due to fluid and salt imbalance.
  • Encephalopathy which can lead to loss of concentration and irritability to drowsiness

Why does my child need to go to a specialist hospital?

Your child will be transferred from a local hospital to a specialist centre so they can be looked after by a team who have more experience looking after children with acute liver failure such as Rela Hospital in Chennai, deemed to be one of the best centres for paediatric liver transplant, especially in Acute liver failure cases.

What tests may be needed?

The tests may include:

  • Blood tests including liver function tests and tests to measure blood clotting
  • Urine tests
  • X-rays / scans
  • A transjugular biopsy which is safer for children if their blood isn’t clotting properly. A piece of liver is removed through a vein in the child’s neck

What are the complications of acute liver failure?

Complications may include:

  • Abnormal bleeding
  • Infection
  • Encephalopathy
  • Poor Kidney Function

When is liver transplantation needed for children with acute liver failure?

Some children make a complete recovery without the need for liver transplantation. The liver has the ability to recover quickly despite significant injury and sometimes a full recovery is possible. If your child’s liver will not recover by itself and the doctors think that a liver transplant is the best option, your child will be referred to the transplant coordinator. They will register your child and provide you with more information on the transplant process. Supportive care and treatment will continue. Children with acute liver failure are given priority. Most children receiving a liver transplant will make a full recovery and a majority will be able to lead a normal life.

ALWAYS Rela Hospital

Rela Institute &Medical Centre is not only one of the best hospitals for paediatric liver transplant In India but is also renowned worldwide as a hospital having the best doctors for paediatric acute liver. We have the most comprehensive paediatric acute liver failure treatment in Chennai. If you are looking for the best children liver doctor in India, visit Rela Hospital and find out for yourself.

Disclaimer: We recommend consulting a Doctor before taking any action based on the above shared information.


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