Cirrhosis, or scarring of the liver, is a common and complex medical condition associated with increased mortality, morbidity, healthcare utilisation and a poor quality of life.
50% of patients with cirrhosis will then develop ascites – a build up of fluid in the abdomen – as a result of scarred liver tissue unable to filter substances into the body.
Although there is no cure for the debilitating disease, a group of Monash University researchers have found a way that may help patients to better manage their condition and improve their overall quality of life.
The team analysed more than 300 patient records to find that early intervention using diuretics (removing fluid from the abdomen) for patients with cirrhosis related ascites significantly reduces hospital readmission and mortality.
“Giving patients diuretics as early as possible lowers 90-day mortality, and early paracentesis lowers 30-day hospital admission rates,” explains research lead, Dr Suong Le.
Dr Lee said that there is a lack of awareness about cirrhosis in the community and that patients and medical staff need to be educated that these simple and early interventions will extend and significantly improve the quality of life for patients.
Read more here: Monash University.