Acute liver failure (ALF) is a serious condition requiring intensive monitoring and urgent specialist care and which untreated is almost always fatal. We at SCOT have established a dedicated ALF service for rapid response, stabilisation and supervised transportation of these patients to our centre. Our “Liver team” is geared to provide the required medical, intensive and if indicated surgical care (liver transplant) for these patients with a high success rate. Patients with acute liver failure are treated in an intensive care unit (ICU).
- For low blood pressure: Fluids are given intravenously and drugs to maintain blood pressure (MAP >70)
- For hepatic encephalopathy: Oral lactulose (a laxative), enemas, Hypertonic Saline, Mannitol and neuroprotective strategies
- For infections: Antibiotics or antifungal drugs
- For low blood sugar: Glucose given intravenously.
- For bleeding: Transfusions of fresh frozen plasma (the fluid part of the blood, which contains proteins that help blood clot, called blood clotting factors) and, when necessary, Packed Cell Volumes (PCV).
- For breathing difficulty: mechanical ventilation
Listing for a liver transplant is based on KING’s College Criteria