Master Hepatitis C (HCV) Assessment with Picmonic for Nursing RN

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Hepatitis C (HCV) Assessment

Happy-tie-liver Cat with Assess-man
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Hepatitis C is a liver infection caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) that may lead to either acute or chronic states of the illness. Acute hepatitis C is typically asymptomatic and must be diagnosed by laboratory tests. The most common cause of contraction of this virus is due to injection drug use, but it may also be spread through exposure to infectious blood or body fluids, as well as perinatally by mothers infected with HCV.
6 KEY FACTS
TRANSMISSION
Blood Transmission
Blood Transmitted

Hepatitis C virus can be spread by exposure to infectious blood. This includes perinatal transmission, which means a mother can pass the virus to the fetus during childbirth. Additionally, accidental needle sticks contaminated with infected blood are another source of transmission.

High Risk Sex (rare)
Up-arrow Risk Sex

Sexual activity with infected partners can lead to transmission of hepatitis C, though this is a rare occurrence. A history of unprotected sexual activity, especially with prostitutes and rough sex leading to micro-abrasions is usually present in patients who have had sexual transmission of the disease.

IV Drug Abusers
IV Drug Abuser

Injection drug abusers remain the most common cause of acquiring acute hepatitis C. The virus is easily transmitted through needles and syringes contaminated with infected blood.

INCUBATION
7 Weeks
Lucky (7) slot machine

The incubation period for hepatitis C is a range between 14-180 days, with an average of 45 days (7 weeks). The greatest risk of infectivity occurs 1-2 weeks before the onset of symptoms. 75-85% of patients go on to develop chronic hepatitis C and remain infectious.

CHRONIC DISEASE
Cirrhosis
C-roses-on-liver

The majority of patients with hepatitis C develop chronic infection; however, most are unaware of their infection potentially for months or years until symptoms of the chronic disease are manifested. Liver cirrhosis or scarring of the liver is a complication of the chronic disease. Jaundice is often the first sign.

CONSIDERATIONS
Barrier Protection
Condoms

Barrier protection is important to help decrease transmission of this disease. Educate high risk patients, such as individuals who have multiple partners to use a condom to prevent spread of this virus.

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