7 Hepatitis Nursing Care Plans


Hepatitis is a widespread inflammation of the liver that results in degeneration and necrosis of liver cells. Inflammation of the liver can be due to bacterial invasion, injury by physical or toxic chemical agents (e.g., drugs, alcohol, industrial chemicals), viral infections (hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G), or autoimmune response. Although most hepatitis is self-limiting, approximately 20% of acute hepatitis B and 50% of hepatitis C cases progress to a chronic state or cirrhosis and can be fatal.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning and management for patients with hepatitis includes: reducing the demands of the liver while promoting physical well-being, preventing complications of hepatitis, enhance self-concept, acceptance of situation, and providing information about the disease process, prognosis, and treatment.

This post includes seven (7) nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for patients with hepatitis:

  1. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  2. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  3. Fatigue
  4. Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity
  5. Deficient Knowledge
  6. Situational Low Self-Esteem
  7. Risk for Infection
  8. Other Possible Nursing Care Plans

Risk for Infection

Nursing Diagnosis

Risk factors may include

  • Inadequate secondary defenses (e.g., leukopenia, suppressed inflammatory response) and immunosuppression
  • Malnutrition
  • Insufficient knowledge to avoid exposure to pathogens

Possibly evidenced by

  • Not applicable. A risk diagnosis is not evidenced by signs and symptoms, as the problem has not occurred and nursing interventions are directed at prevention.

Desired Outcomes

  • Verbalize understanding of individual causative/risk factor(s).
  • Demonstrate techniques; initiate lifestyle changes to avoid reinfection/transmission to others.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Establish isolation techniques for enteric and respiratory infections according to infection guidelines and policy. Encourage or model effective handwashing. Prevents transmission of viral disease to others. Thorough handwashing is effective in preventing virus transmission. Types A and E are transmitted by oral-fecal route, contaminated water, milk, and food (especially inadequately cooked shellfish). Types A, B, C, and D are transmitted by contaminated blood/blood products; needle punctures; open wounds; and contact with saliva, urine, stool, and semen. Incidence of both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) has increased among healthcare providers and high-risk patients. Toxic and alcoholic hepatitis are not communicable and do not require special measures and isolation.
Stress need to monitor and restrict visitors as indicated. Patient exposure to infectious processes (especially respiratory) potentiates risk of secondary complications.
Explain isolation procedures to patient and SO. Understanding reasons for safeguarding themselves and others can lessen feelings of isolation and stigmatization. Isolation may last 2–3 wk from onset of illness, depending on type or duration of symptoms.
Give information regarding availability of gamma globulin, ISG, H-BIG, HB vaccine (Recombivax HB, Engerix-B) through health department or family physician Immunoglobulins may be effective in preventing viral hepatitis in those who have been exposed, depending on type of hepatitis and period of incubation.
Administer medications as indicated:
  • Antiviral drugs: vidarabine (Vira-A), acyclovir (Zovirax)
Useful in treating chronic active hepatitis.
Treats the symptoms of hepatitis C and may lead to temporary improvement in liver function.
  • Ribavirin
Used in conjunction with interferon to improve the effectiveness of that drug. Note: These treatments lead to improvement, not cure of the disease.
Antibiotics appropriate to causative agents (Gram-negative, anaerobic bacteria) or secondary process. Used to treat bacterial hepatitis or to prevent/limit secondary infections.

See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Gastrointestinal Care Plans

Care plans covering the disorders of the gastrointestinal and digestive system:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.

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