Now more than ever, a person who has suffered acute liver failure has a much better chance of survival than even just 16 years ago.
According to a new study, in 1998, the chance of survival for a 21-day patient was just 59 percent. That number rose dramatically in 2013 to a 75 percent rate of survival. What’s changed, according to researchers, was that today we have better diagnosis and treatment options that have had in the past.
Lead researcher Dr. William Lee, a liver specialist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas said in a recent interview, “Overall survival and transplant-free survival have improved, while the number of patients requiring transplantation has declined.”
Acute liver failure is rare but in young people, it can often prove to be fatal, according to Lee. “It involves the rapid destruction of liver cells by either drugs or viruses, such as hepatitis A or B, resulting in loss of consciousness and failure of multiple organ systems,” he said.
The leading cause of acute liver failure is acetaminophen, which is best known under the brand name of Tylenol. Many of these can be linked to suicide, but sometimes, according to Dr. Lee, it can be an unintentional overdose.
Acetaminophen or Tylenol is can be liver toxic and acute liver failure can turn into a fatal incident quickly. The human body relies on the liver to perform many important functions such as removing toxins from the blood, absorbing nutrients from food and hormones and producing proteins that help the blood to clot properly. According to the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney diseases, the liver also stores vitamins, minerals, fats and sugars so that it can be used by the body later.
Dr. Lee said that while no single factor that can be identified as being the reason why care of patients that have had acute liver failure, treatment at ICU facilities has improved over the last 16 years. Lee also believes that the increased chance of survival may be linked to medical professionals using fewer blood products better blood pressure support measures and the use of the drug, N-acetylcysteine, which acts as an antidote to acetaminophen.
Dr. Lee and his colleagues used data collected from more than 2,000 patients whose average age was 39 years of age. All patients in the study had suffered an acute failure between 1998 and 2013.
Today, doctors and even hospitals, use the drug Tylenol because it is a trusted pain reliever, fever reducer and is generally well-trusted as being safe and effective. However, the manufacturers of Tylenol Johnson & Johnson don’t inform their customers about is the fact that while it is mostly safe, it can still be toxic and even fatal if taken in a large enough dose.
If you or a loved one has experienced liver failure after having taken Tylenol, you could be entitled to a financial reward. Hospital bills, medical costs and long-term care have a way of mounting up. If you have had to have a liver transplant, we can help you to explore all the options available to you with a personal or class action lawsuit.
Contact us at 404-620-3484 to schedule a free consultation with our attorneys today.