Liver Failure

Emergency Response
July 30, 2014
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Liver Failure

This young lady is not pregnant, although she is desperate to bear a child. In Angolan culture having children is not only a means to security in older ago, but also a measure of one’s femininity or masculinity. In her anguish to become pregnant she approached a traditional healer who administered a concoction of roots and leaves boiled into a tea. Within days of consuming the substance her eyes became yellow, she began to vomit unceasingly Her abdomen swelled. When I saw her, three months later, she is suffering from chronic liver failure with ascites.

We have few answers to the challenges this case presents. A few of the questions we’re asking are:

  • What is the toxin this lady consumed?
  • Does an antidote exist?
  • How can liver failure of this nature best be treated?
  • What social interventions would diminished the consumption of such toxins?

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