1-56. VIRAL HEPATITIS
a. Type A hepatitis virus, also called infectious hepatitis, is a highly contagious
form of hepatitis. Modes of transmission include:
(1) Oral ingestion of contaminated materials such as water, milk, or shellfish
from contaminated waters.
Blood transfusions are RARELY, if ever, a source of Type A hepatitis
b. Type B hepatitis virus, known as serum hepatitis, is the type that poses a
threat to health care workers. Type B hepatitis virus is spread through:
Contact with contaminated body secretions.
(2) Parentally, through contact with contaminated needles, syringes, blood,
and blood products.
By transmission from mothers to babies.
c. A third type of hepatitis virus is identified as type non-A/non-B. Although the
cause for this type of hepatitis is unclear, its mode of transmission appears to be blood-
borne. Type non-A/non-B hepatitis virus is responsible for 80 percent--90 percent of all
the post transfusion cases of hepatitis. It is associated with:
Blood transfusions and transfusion products.
Parenteral drug abusers.
Personnel associated with renal transplant and dialysis units.
Institutions with long-term residents.
d. Refer to Table 1-1 for a comparison of the types of viral hepatitis.
1-57. NURSING IMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH VIRAL HEPATITIS
a. Rest. Patients with viral hepatitis experience fatigue and malaise during all
phases of the infection.
Bed rest should be encouraged during the acute phase of the illness.