Liver Failure in Children – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

Liver failure occurs when many cells present in the liver die or become damaged within a short period. This health condition is specifically termed as an acute liver failure (ALF), and as a result, patients may become less alert or even go into a coma. As this happens very fast, getting care quickly is extremely important. Acute liver failure in children is rare.

According to a leading hospital of liver transplant in India, there are many causes of acute liver failure. For example, an incorrect dosage of acetaminophen could affect how the liver works. .

Other causes of acute liver failure include conditions such as infections/ viruses, several metabolic conditions, cardiovascular conditions, and immunological dysfunction. Many times, the causes of acute liver failure in children cannot be found. In toddlers and older children, the causes of acute liver failure may include the conditions such as infections mainly hepatitis A, B, and D, various drugs and toxins, cardiovascular conditions, immune factors, and many others.

Signs and symptoms of liver failure in children:

According to the hospitals of liver transplant in India, one of the first signs of the problem with the liver of your child is jaundice. Jaundice occurs when the liver in the body is not able to remove bilirubin. Bilirubin is known to be a yellow pigment from the blood. This gives you a yellow color to the skin and the whites of the eyes of the child. There are many other symptoms too, which are known to be the early signs of liver failure in children. These symptoms include the following:

  • The tendency of bruising and bleeding easily
  • Impaired function of the brain
  • Ascites, a fluid build-up in the abdominal cavity.
  • Repeated illnesses
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea

Treatment of liver failure:

The overall treatment of liver failure depends upon what has caused liver failure in a child. There are some causes which could easily be treated by medicines. In all the other cases, liver transplant becomes an urgent need.

  • Monitoring:

Some patients can get back to a better condition if they receive proper treatment for all their symptoms of liver failure. Several patients who suffer from liver failure as a result of a virus can get better on their own. Their liver is soon able to reform itself into a healthy organ.

  • Medication:

When the failure of the liver in a child is caused as a result of any cardiovascular condition or by acetaminophen dosage, instead of surgery, intake of medicines is enough to cure the problem. Medicines may, however, be able to only reverse the condition in case of early detection and treatment.  

  • Transplant:

According to a study, near about half of all children suffering from liver failure require a liver transplant in order to get back to their healthy selves. Transplantation is the last resort for children patients whose cause of liver failure is not known or figured out or where the liver damage is irreparable.