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liver faure - brother hospitalized need advice

My brother (47) is in the hospital in another state, a V.A. hospital, he went to E.R. yellow eyes and swollen belly, and they admitted him.  I'm trying to assess the situation on whether I should head that way or wait, can't get a call back from dr, have left message today and yesterday for doctor to call me and haven't heard back. Nurse told me today he's eating a little and walking around some. He had bleeding esophogial varacies in 2008 but never sucessful in quitting drinking. I have talked to him on the phone but he sounds week and sometimes gets confused. Also have sick mother here am going to have to make arrangements on that and my job.
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3230925 tn?1397615965
Sorry to hear that,he is in a very critical situation,I would go visit him.



All good things to you and your family.

Dannyboi7
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi Jan,
You should probably post on the Cirrhosis forum as well.
I am sorry, it appears that your brother is in ESLD (end stage liver disease), from what you describe.
Go see him.
All the best to you and your family.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm so sorry to hear this.. I guess it depends on how sick your mother is.. but, if you can.. go see him..
Helpful - 0
163305 tn?1333668571
He has cirrhosis. His belly is swollen from ascites. If he is still drinking, he will not be eligible for a liver transplant.

4 years at least with decompensated cirrhosis and still drinking alcohol means his days are numbered.
Go see him.
Helpful - 0
446474 tn?1446347682
Hi. I am sorry to hear about your brother’s situation.
In 2008 his having bleeding esophogial varices was already an indication that he should have been listed for transplant at that time. I assume due to his alcoholism that didn't happen.

From what I gather they are trying to stabilize your brother’s situation. It may take a few days up to a week or so depending on advanced his condition is for that to happen. I am guessing they are trying to get his ascites under control. Ascites can be life-threatening should the fluid in his abdomen become infected. So I am sure they have drain the fluid and are putting him on diuretics to help manage his ascites. Also depending upon the cause of his elevated bilirubin there may be able to moderate his jaundice as well.

The confusion you mention may be another common complication of End-Stage Liver Disease called hepatic encephalopathy. It is cause the inability of a damage liver to cleanse the blood of toxins in the gut that occur due to digestion. Before releasing him they may have him start to take some drugs that will help to mange the complications of his condition. He may also be given a diet to follow. Also confusion could be caused just find the medical crises itself.

If they should keep him in the hospital that would be a bad sign for his prognosis.

The unfortunate problem is your brother’s drinking. He will not be eligible for a life-saving transplant until he has abstained for alcohol for a certain period of time. The only person that can make that decision is your brother. He has to want to live enough to change what is probably a lifetime habit. That is not easy to do but he will need to do it if he want to ever recover from his liver disease. He should join AA and start working the program as soon as possible.

Could the issue be that your brother has not given written permission for you to be privy to his condition? He must do so under the HIPAA law for the doctors attending him to release any information about his condition to you. I would try to clarify the situation as to way you are not being informed. I would let them know you are out of state and you are wondering what you can do to help. There should be a “discharge planner” person who is in charge of when he will leave the hospital. They would know more about his condition and if and when he may be released own his own. Only a doctor can authorize a patient's release from the hospital, but the actual process of discharge planning can be completed by a social worker, nurse, case manager or other person.

Best of luck to you and your brother.
Hector
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
My prayers go out to your brother and you.

No one here or on the internet can predict how long someone has to live. Wait until you speak with the doctor. He will advise on you making the trip if he feels it is necessary.

There have been people like your brother that have lived several years in his condition. But only if they control the cirrhosis and your they wants to live. Of course the most important thing is to stop drinking!  Low salt, sugar,fat diet. Exercise. Once he is alcohol free for a year he can get listed for a transplant.

best of luck
Helpful - 0
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