In cirrhosis of the liver, scar tissue and fats slowly replace healthy liver tissue, interfering with the normal blood flow and functioning of the liver. Cirrhosis can lead to liver disease or cancer in advanced stages. It is most commonly caused by chronic, heavy alcohol consumption or hepatitis (both hepatitis B and hepatitis C).
Causes of Cirrhosis
Some possible causes of cirrhosis include:
- Medical malpractice (e.g. failure to diagnose)
- Drug Interactions
- Chronic alcoholism
Prior to strict screening and purification standards starting in 1990, many bleeding disorder and surgical patients contracted viral hepatitis C through contaminated blood products and transfusions. Hepatitis C results in chronic liver infection in approximately 85% of infected people, leading to cirrhosis and other liver disease.
Severe adverse reactions to certain drugs, including acetaminophen, can also cause cirrhosis. For example, in March 2000 the diabetes drug Rezulin was withdrawn from the market after the FDA learned of more than 60 deaths from cirrhosis and other serious liver diseases.
Some possible symptoms of cirrhosis include:
- Buildup of fluid in legs and abdomen
- Redness of palms
- Yellowing of skin
- Red spots on skin
Contact an Attorney
Patients who have developed cirrhosis as a result of prescription drug use, contaminated blood or medical malpractice may wish to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their legal options. Time may be limited to file a claim so contact a lawyer today!