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Hepatitis and Dialysis Patients

Posted Nov 16 2009 10:02pm

The Pinoy’s common conception of getting infected with Hepatitis is eating street foods that are unsanitary. On occasions, you would sometimes overhear somebody jokingly pointing out that you’d get the Hepatitis Virus with the food you just bought from the street, free of charge. “Libreng Hepa”, (free hepatitis),  some smart ass would say.

As to the validity of this knowledge, I am not completely sure. Maybe if someone who’s been infected with the virus dips in the sauce, let’s say, of the fish ball; eats some of it, dips it again, then followed by you dipping into the fray, maybe there could be a chance for you getting infected. Not to mention the fact that it seems quite disgusting enough and appetizing at the same time.

Hepatitis

image courtesy of www.nmh.org


Although there’s one thing I am certainly aware of being at risk to Hepatitis. Being a dialysis patient, this virus just looms around the corner, waiting for an opportune time to get into your system. Patients that are financially incapable of sustaining EPO injections to treat Kidney Failure-related Anemia , turns to occasional blood transfusions as an alternative method, which in turn, puts them at a higher risk of being infected with the Hepatitis Virus.

“Hepatitis has been a long-standing problem in hemodialysis facilities. Essentially, hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. Hepatitis viruses are bloodborne pathogens and are major biological hazards for everyone in the dialysis facility.  Hepatitis viruses, unlike HIV, can survive for long periods of time outside the human body.”

source RenalWEB

It’s mandatory for dialysis patients to take the required Hepatitis Vaccine and have their Hepatitis Profile checked from time to time. I’ve been vaccinated last year, taking 2 vials of Engerix B , (Note: I think a single vial is the normal dose given for this vaccine), for 3 consecutive months, then taking the booster dose on the following month. For further details about this, it’s advisable to seek your Nephrologist or medical staff in your dialysis clinic. They’re the ones who could elaborate more on the subject.

I just took my Hepatitis Profile recently. It’s 3 or 4 types of laboratory tests that would ascertain if your body has already developed an antibody or defense against the virus and/or if you’re laready infected with it. Fortunately, my antibody turned up positive reaction and the test for the virus itself turned up negative.

I guess I got away practically unscathed and without having to worry about jaundice or my liver deteriorating for a while.

The battle goes on, though.


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