Hepatitis B (HBV) is caused by a virus that attacks the liver. Hepatitis B can cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. The virus is transferred from person to person in bodily fluids, such as blood. One out of 20 people in the United States will get infected with HBV sometime during their lives.
The symptoms of hepatitis B include fatigue, poor appetite, stomach pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and occasionally joint pain, hives or rash. However some patients with acute hepatitis do not have any symptoms.
There are no special medicines or antibiotics that can be used to treat a person that is acutely infected once the symptoms appear. Generally, bed rest is all that is needed. Interferon is the most effective treatment for chronic HBV.
Hepatitis can be prevented. A safe and effective vaccine to prevent hepatitis B is available. The hepatitis B Vaccine is recommended for dialysis patients. Hepatitis B vaccine prevents hepatitis B disease and it serious consequences like hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer). Therefore it is considered the first anti cancer vaccine.
Medical, scientific and public health communities strongly enforce using hepatitis B vaccine as a safe and effective way to prevent disease and death.
Scientific data show that hepatitis B vaccines are very safe for infants, children and adults. The Dialysis Center is offering Hepatitis B Vaccines to all patients that are interested in receiving the vaccine. All the staff at the dialysis center have also been offered the vaccines. The dialysis center is considered a high risk environment because we are dealing with blood. By vaccinating yourself you are protecting yourself, your loved ones and the dialysis staff.
The dialysis center routinely monitors Hepatitis status on all patients. The lab tests are as follows:
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg): The presence of HBsAg indicates that the person is infectious.
Hepatitis B Surface Antibody( anti-HBs): The presence of Hepatitis B Surface Antibodies is interpreted as indicating recovery and immunity for HBV infection