Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"My 34 year old son has cirrhosis of the liver. How can I help him?"
needs a liver transplant but they say he must be alcohol free for six he is in hospice house.. they give him 20 milligrams of morphine every four hours. we feel he will die from the overdose..... is there a way to keep him alive for six months to get a new liver? he needs a transplant.. his meld score us 24 but he must be alcohol free for six months. hospice says there is nothing more they can do that is why the dr. sent him to hospice,but, can we do something to keep him alive.? if he goes to the hospital, what would they do to keep him alive?
Liver failure is one of the most difficult things for physicians treat. The reason for this is that there is no way for us to adequately replace his own liver function. When the liver fails to a certain degree, the only treatment left is a transplant. In your son's case, the best thing that your doctors can do other than continue to encourage alcohol abstinence in hopes that you will be able to be placed on the liver transplant list is to continue providing supportive care. So it is important for him to continue to follow-up with his doctors. Supportive care is simply just trying to keep him as healthy as possible. There is no specific medications that can improve his liver function. Supportive care will include making sure that he doesn't hold onto too much volume (fluid), providing him with a paracentesis to remove abdominal fluid when necessary, and making sure that his electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are in the right range. Medications such as lactulose can also be used to prevent or treat hepatic encephalopathy, which is a type of mental problem that occurs when ammonia I can relate to the body secondary to liver failure. For this problem, you son needs to continue to see his gastroenterologist regularly to see if he can be listed for transplant.
Need more info?See a gastroenterologist today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.