Addiction and the Risk of Hepatitis C
IV drug users and high incidence of Hepatitis C
Posted Jan 14, 2016
Hepatitis C affects about 2.7 million Americans today. Injection drug abuse accounts for a large percentage of this population. Hepatitis C is a chronic infection that causes liver damage in many people who have the infection over a period of years. Although there is no current vaccine for Hepatitis C there are new treatments that can actually clear Hepatitis C from the system of individuals for what amounts to a cure.
Many individuals have a history of injection drug use and are at risk for Hepatitis C. Many of our patients are already infected, but not all of the Hepatitis C positive patients here are aware of their infection or their infected state.
Dr. Frank DeLia, a physician at Retreat at Lancaster County, has a great interest in the identification and treatment of Hepatitis C. Dr. DeLia recently helped The Community Liver Alliance organize a regional conference on the diagnosis and management of Hepatitis C in early December of 2015. Nurses should receive training in rapid testing for Hepatitis C, and all participants should learn more about the problem of Hepatitis C in the community and the possible treatments for those who are infected.
Going forward, treatment centers should intend to stay on the forefront of the diagnosis and management of Hepatitis C for all of our patients. I would like to give credit to Dr. DeLia, Melissa Callahan CRNP, our chief of nursing, and to all from Retreat who participated in the recent training. We are continually attempting to deliver the highest quality medical care and remain in the forefront of awareness.