Cirrhosis of the liver nursing NCLEX review over the symptoms, nursing care/management, pathophysiology, complications, and treatments.
Cirrhosis is a liver disease where liver cells become extremely damaged due to long-term/severe damage. This damage can be from a viral infection (Hepatitis B or C), heavy alcohol consumption, obesity, hyperlipidemia, bile duct problem, autoimmune etc. These damaged liver cells are replaced with fibrous tissue, and this leads to scarring of the liver.
The role of the liver is to filter the blood and perform the following functions to it: metabolizing, detoxifying, storing, producing etc. When liver cells are damaged these processes do not happen.
Complications of cirrhosis include: portal hypertension, splenomegaly, ascites, jaundice, hepatic encephalopathy, esophageal varices etc. All of these conditions are discussed in depth in the video.
During the early stages of cirrhosis the patient may be asymptomatic, however, in the late stages the patient will have signs and symptoms that include: asterixis, fetor hepaticus, jaundice, reduced platelets and white blood cells, spider angiomas, ascites, gynecomastia, increase ammonia level etc.
Nursing interventions for cirrhosis include monitoring for bleeding, abnormal glucose levels, implementing a proper diet: if patient has confusion (hepatic encephalopathy) they need a low protein diet, however, if patient isn't confused they need a high lean protein diet, low sodium, fluid restriction, assessing for rupture of varices, administering lactulose etc.
Treatment for cirrhosis includes a liver transplant and medications such as diuretics, blood products, vitamin K, beta blocker or nitrates. In addition to a paracentesis. which helps remove fluid from the abdomen, if ascites is present.
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