Posted on: 28 August 2017Share
Hepatitis B is a blood-borne viral infection which affects the liver. Hepatitis B can be transmitted between people via unclean needles which are used during drug use, medical interventions or tattooing. Hepatitis B can also be transmitted via sexual intercourse. If you are not immunised against hepatitis B and you are infected, you could face a range of serious medical issues. There is no cure for a hepatitis B infection, although there are some treatment options which can help manage the condition. Below is a guide to some of the conditions you may develop if you are infected with the hepatitis B virus.
Cirrhosis of the Liver
Cirrhosis refers to scars which develop on the surface of the liver. This scarring can reduce your liver function, resulting in impurities not being filtered from the body as they normally would. Once cirrhosis has occurred, it is impossible to reverse. In the short to medium term, you may be treated using a dialysis machine. A dialysis machine is designed to use a series of filters to remove impurities from your blood. You will be attached to the machine, and blood will slowly pass from your body into through the filters. The clean blood will then re-enter your body. However, dialysis is not a long-term solution. You will need to attend a clinic on a regular basis so that the procedure can be completed.
Failure of the Liver
Eventually, even with regular dialysis, the liver may become so corroded that it begins to fail completely. If you reach this stage, the only option is to have a liver transplant. However, there is a national shortage of organ donations, which means you may have to join a very long waiting list. If you are lucky enough to receive a liver transplant, you will need to take medication for the rest of your life to stop your body from rejecting the new organ.
Cancer of the Liver
Contracting hepatitis B can dramatically increase the chance that you will eventually develop cancer of the liver. Cancer of the liver commonly affects patients who are carrying the hepatitis B virus. Because liver cancer can be very a very aggressive form of cancer which is hard to detect, the prognosis for someone diagnosed with the disease is generally negative.
If you would like further information about immunisations against the hepatitis B virus, you should contact a medical centre today.