Paediatric Acute Liver Failure: Symptoms And Treatments
October 12, 2019
Acute liver failure (ALF) occurs when liver fails to work as many liver cells die or become very damaged in a short amount of time. Due to ALF, patients may become less alert or even go into a coma. Because this happens so fast, getting care quickly is vital. However, acute liver failure in children is rare.Acute liver failure has many causes. Acetaminophen is one common medicine that can affect how the liver works. This can happen if a child is given the wrong dose of medicine or if too much is taken in a short amount of time.
Symptoms of acute liver failure can be like those of a virus. This includes upset stomach, feeling tired all the time, or throwing up. This can quickly progress to jaundice, encephalopathy and coagulopathy.In encephalopathy the brain does not work the way it should. This happens when the liver is not able to break down or get rid of toxic products. A liver that is working like it should is able to break down toxins and carry them out of the liver. Encephalopathy always occurs when a child has sudden and severe liver failure. Infants up to 28 days old may not have many signs of encephalopathy that are easy to notice. But they will have jaundice symptoms.Infants older than 28 days may be irritable, have crying spells and can’t be made to feel better, or they might want to sleep more during the day than at night.Older children may seem angry, have a hard time falling asleep, forget things, be confused, or feel drowsy.
Treatment for acute liver failure include:
- Supportive care – Many patients whose condition is caused by a virus get better on their own. Their liver is able to reform itself into a healthy organ.
- Medicine – When the acute liver failure is caused by a cardiovascular condition or by acetaminophen, it can sometimes be treated with medicine.
- Transplant – About 40 percent of children with acute liver failure need a liver transplant to survive. For most patients whose cause of liver failure is not known, a transplant is the only option. Whether a liver transplant is advised for the child depends on:
- If the cause of the disease is known
- The likelihood the transplant will be a success
- Whether there is a disease in more than one organ or part of the body
- The amount of brain damage
The survival rate for children with acute liver failure who have successfully undergone liver transplant is as high as 90 percent.
Always Rela Hospital
Rela Hospital is one of the best hospitals for paediatric liver transplantation in India. Our paediatric acute liver failure specialists provide the best treatment for paediatric acute liver failure in Chennai. We have been recognized as being one of the top children liver hospital in India.