Drs say there is nothing else they can... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Drs say there is nothing else they can do


Hi all. I posted a few days about my 71yo mum. Diagnosed just a few weeks ago with decompensated liver disease and has went downhill. She has been in hospital since Tuesday. She has ascities, jaundice and hepatic encephalopathy. She isn't eating at all. She is refusing the nutrition drink but has been persuaded to take sips here and there. Drs have given her sodium chloride drips and laxatives, nothing else. She isn't in pain but is uncomfortable with the ascities, the H.e is quite bad, I don't feel like she is there at all the past two days.

Today the Dr said there is not really anything else they can do. The liver is too badly damaged and all they can do is give the fluids. They daid we can possibly talk hospice care in a few days. Her heart was racing today but seems to be under control. They have warned against other organs failing but did say last week her kidneys were fine.

I have to trust that the Drs are doing all they can and that perhaps the end is near. It's such a shock.

Does anyone know how anything I can try, or have any experience of this? How will I know the end is near? I feel like I am giving up on her but I just don't know what I can do.

12 Replies

Well.my dad was exactly like this last year.gp organised all his medical files etc so that side of things was uptògether and i could bypass the coroner.he was like this for a few weeks maybe longer.didnt eat for months! Maybe an icecube amount of foor every few days if we were lucky.he really was on in a poor state.his health was terrible in everyway possible.

He was admitted to hospital in march this year with an enlarged liver,ascites,jaundice and retained bladder and after the drainage done and all the tests etc he was sent home five days later.he then gave up booze fir 3 1/12 months and seemed to come out the other side.

However he has now been diagnosed with a decompensated liver with no return now.his health is not good but we dont seem to be having all the drama we had last year?! It feels like the calm before the storm to me.i feel last years dramatically ill health may have been like a transition stage to decompensated state but dont know for sure.we should find out tues if hes got congestive heart failure as he seems to have developed a crackling chest.possible fluid on the lungs.and possible copd.

When my mum passed away she had pneumonia in hosp after being in there a month with other things,so obv her death would be different to maybe others.essentially blood pressure drops.they sleep for long periods or cannot be aroused.not eating not drinking.uncomfy.stiff limbs.hot sweats, cold sweats.breathing difficulties.skin starts to change,waxy or paper tissue like.veins look different.blood supply goes to main orgains and retracts from extremeties.temperature changes.can have pooling of fluids in places. Fluid in legs n feet.

I stayed with my mum for 4 days whilst she was actively dying.i saw every change within her body until she finally slipped away.

Trust me you will be advised,and you will kind of know when the time comes.

I wish you all the strength and courage to get through this.my heart is with you xx


I think having been through this with my mum,i would advise to make her as comfortable and calm as possible.if you're planning on being with her then let her know you are there for her.she will know you're there.hold her hand.just comfort her however you see fit.


Hi I'm very sorry to hear that your mam is in such a bad way, my heart goes out to you both.

In terms of the ascites have the Drs already drained them since she was admitted on Tuesday? Is she on spironlactone to assist the body with removing toxins? It may be worth asking Drs about this as this drug has the potential to dehydrate your mams kidneys.

Is your mam taking anything for the hepatic encephalopathy? Xx

MsLiz in reply to Sydney04

Thanks for the reply. They gave her vitamin k for the first couple of days, plus the laxative and the sodium chloride drip bit that's is. Now only the drip, I'll need to ask about the laxative. They put a catheter in yesterday as said going to the loo was distressing her. No mention of spironlactone and it's not one I think she's taken. I would just love to get the He sorted a bit more.

Sydney04 in reply to MsLiz

No problems, I know for HE they usually use lactulose to help to remove toxins this does work but it has a laxative effect. Rifaximin is also used for HE and it does work in terms of any memory loss and confusion. This is usually taken long term but I'd like to think your mam was on both of these at the moment to address the HE.

Hope this helps x

Hi. I'm going through the same with my wife. Her condition is identical to your Mums although yesterday she took a turn for the worse as her lungs are now filling up. She has been moved to ICU and the prognosis looks dire. My thoughts are with you as I can imagine how you're feeling as I'm in the same boat. Take care and try to be strong.

Sorry to hear about the situation you are in.

The only hope is a miracle or traditional herbal or natural cures if doctors can no longer help.Anything is worth a try

Just an update. No change but she's now being given 'human albumin' on a drip. Still to get someone to ask what that is, for etc ....

Hiya, sorry can't offer much advice but just to say take care of yourself too and thoughts are with you and your mum💜

My wife was given Human Albumin via drip the day before yesterday. It sounds like we're both with someone that is at the same stage. Try and encourage your Mum to eat a little and drink as much as possible. My wife has not eaten anything which is not helping although is now being fed by tube.. On the plus side I've been to visit in ICU this morning and her lungs are improving which is at least something.. Try and be positive. I know it's hard and my emotions are all over the place.



You are all in my thoughts and prayers

With much love and hugs Lynne xxxx

did they tap her yet?

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