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Chapter 1 : Introduction

Introduction arrow_upward

  • The word hepatitis comes from the Ancient Greek word hepar (root word hepat) meaning 'liver', and the Latin it is meaning inflammation.
  • It is a disorder in which viruses or other mechanisms produce swelling and inflammation in liver cells, resulting in their injury or destruction.

  • The Liver arrow_upward

  • It performs over 500 vital functions, some key roles are:
    • The liver processes all of the nutrients the body requires, including proteins, glucose, vitamins, and fats.
    • The liver manufactures bile, the greenish fluid stored in the gallbladder that helps digest fats.
    • One of the liver's major contributions is to render harmless potentially toxic substances, including alcohol, ammonia, nicotine, drugs, and harmful by-products of digestion.
  • Is located in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen
  • Cleans the blood
  • Regulates hormones
  • Helps with blood clotting
  • Produces bile
  • Produces important proteins
  • Maintains blood sugar levels

  • Viral Hepatitis arrow_upward

  • Viral hepatitis means there is a specific virus that is causing your liver to inflame (swell or become larger than normal)
  • Viral hepatitis is of five types:
    • A: Fecal - oral transmission
    • B: Sexual fluids and blood to blood
    • C: Blood to blood
    • D: Travels with B
    • E: Fecal – oral transmission
  • There are two main types of nonviral hepatitis, called:
    • Alcoholic hepatitis
    • Toxic/drug-induced hepatitis
  • Two less common types of nonviral hepatitis, called:
    • Autoimmune hepatitis
    • Granulomatous hepatitis

    Alcoholic Hepatitis

  • Alcoholic hepatitis is the most common precursor of cirrhosis in the U.S.
  • While it may not develop in many patients until several decades of alcohol abuse, it appears in a few individuals within a year after onset of excessive drinking.

  • Toxic/Drug-Induced Hepatitis

  • Toxic/drug-induced hepatitis is caused after inhalation or ingestion of a toxin, such as carbon tetrachloride, vinyl chloride, poisonous mushrooms or the use of certain medications.
  • Several widely used drugs can produce an adverse liver reaction:
    • Isoniazid (used for the treatment of tuberculosis)
    • Methyldopa (a treatment for high blood pressure)
    • Acetaminophen (pain reliever)
    • Antibiotics such as erythromycin, chlorpromazine, oral contraceptives and anabolic steroids

    Autoimmune Hepatitis

  • Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition in which the liver is attacked by the body's immune system.

  • Granulomatous Hepatitis

  • Granulomatous hepatitis is a condition in which abnormal collections of white blood cells collect in the liver.

  • Signs and Symptoms arrow_upward

  • Individuals may have one or more of the following symptoms, while others experience no symptoms:
    • Tiredness
    • Nausea
    • Muscle or joint pain
    • Trouble sleeping
    • Loss of appetite
    • Weight loss
    • Abdominal pain
    • Itchiness
    • Depression
    • Dark urine (pee)
  • A few may have specific liver related symptoms initially:
    • Pale stool (poo)
    • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

    Prevention arrow_upward

  • Never share drug equipment
    • Straws, bills, needles, syringes, water, filter, cooker, pipes, etc.
  • Never share tooth brushes/razors or any personal hygiene articles that have blood on them (even tiny amounts).
  • Practice safer sex
  • Always make sure new & sterilized equipment is being used for tattooing & piercing
    • Make sure ink for tattooing is not being shared  
  • Do not touch dirty needles without proper equipment or following proper procedures

  • Dirty Needle Precautions arrow_upward

  • Handle only if you have proper equipment
    • Sturdy pair of gloves, tongs or pliers and a puncture proof container (heavy plastic or metal)
  • Place needle in puncture proof container
    • Do not touch needle with bare hands and do not try to recap needle if cap present
  • Can dispose container in garbage but better if it is taken to health clinic or needle exchange
  • At school, notify custodian, teacher, nurse or police liaison officer

  • Thank You from Kimavi arrow_upward

  • Please email us at and help us improve this tutorial.

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