A Case Study
This is the picture of a 64 yr old man. He is very fatigued. See how skinny his arms are, how thin his skin at the sides of his head. His belly is swollen due to fluid accumulation and his umbilical area protrudes with an irregular hard feeling area next to this. He has turned yellow.
- He survived a horrible car accident some 40 years ago with a ruptured spleen
- He received blood transfusions (an estimated 20 units).
- He had presented to us 38 years later when he developed fluid overload (ascites), the first symptom of cirrhosis due to transfusion acquired hepatitis C infection.
- After an initial favorable response to treatment with diuretics, he rapidly declined: He lost weight, became skinny, developed increasingly difficult to treat fluid and was diagnosed with a malignant tumor that had developed on the basis of cirrhosis (hepatocellular carcinoma). By then this had become incurable disease.
- A few weeks before his demise he allowed us to take this picture "if it could serve to improve the outcome of this devastating disease for others......."
His history presents a worst case scenario. Too many people worldwide walk around and go undiagnosed with HCV infection until finally symptoms develop like in him. Transfusion associated hepatitis C has become very rare because blood is so much better screened.