The role of nurses in preventing hepatitis C transmission

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is responsible for 20% of acute hepatitis, 70% of chronic hepatitis, 40% of decompensated cirrhosis, 60% of hepatocellular carcinoma and 30% of liver transplantation cases. The progress of the disease is slow and evolves to a great percentage in liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of patients with anti-HCV (+) is universally 169.7 million, with a total prevalence of 2.9%. In Greece, the percentages of HCV infection in the population of blood donors range from 0.14 to 0.83%. The possible ways of HCV transmission include parenteral transmission by transfusion of blood or blood derivatives, multiple use of needles mainly in intravenous drug users, hemodialysis, organs transplantation, hospital transmission, sexual transmission, family transmission (common use of personal supplies) and mother-to-infant transmission. Nurses have to be thoroughly informed about the possible ways of transmission of HCV infection, to educate patients and their family environment about the prevention and sanitation measures and also instruct patients about the treatment uptake and follow-up schedule. That would be the only way to successfully prevent transmission of HCV infection and liver failure.

Category: Volume 47, N 4
Hits: 21 Hits
Created Date: 15-12-2008
Authors: Konstantinos D. Pantazis , Hero Brokalaki