A) Infusion of intravenous heparin
B) IV administration of albumin
C) STAT administration of vitamin K by the intramuscular route
D) IV administration of octreotide (Sandostatin)
Octreotide (Sandostatin)—a synthetic analog of the hormone somatostatin—is effective in decreasing bleeding from esophageal varices, and lacks the vasoconstrictive effects of vasopressin. Because of this safety and efficacy profile, octreotide is considered the preferred treatment regimen for immediate control of variceal bleeding. Vitamin K and albumin are not administered and heparin would exacerbate, not alleviate, bleeding.
A) Alterations in glucose metabolism
B) Retention of bile salts
C) Inadequate production of albumin by hepatocytes
D) Inability of the liver to use vitamin K
Decreased production of several clotting factors may be partially due to deficient absorption of vitamin K from the GI tract. This probably is caused by the inability of liver cells to use vitamin K to make prothrombin. This bleeding risk is unrelated to the roles of glucose, bile salts, or albumin.
A) Place hand under the right lower abdominal quadrant and press down lightly with the other hand.
B) Place the left hand over the abdomen and behind the left side at the 11th rib.
C) Place hand under right lower rib cage and press down lightly with the other hand.
D) Hold hand 90 degrees to right side of the abdomen and push down firmly.
To palpate the liver, the examiner places one hand under the right lower rib cage and presses downward with light pressure with the other hand. The liver is not on the left side or in the right lower abdominal quadrant.
A) Assessment of blood pressure and assessment for headaches and visual changes
B) Assessments for signs and symptoms of venous thromboembolism
C) Daily weights and abdominal girth measurement
D) Blood glucose monitoring q4h
Obstruction to blood flow through the damaged liver results in increased blood pressure (portal hypertension) throughout the portal venous system. This can result in varices and ascites in the abdominal cavity. Assessments related to ascites are daily weights and abdominal girths. Portal hypertension is not synonymous with cardiovascular hypertension and does not create a risk for unstable blood glucose or VTE.
A) Document the presence of normal bile output.
B) Irrigate the drainage system with normal saline as ordered.
C) Aspirate a sample of the drainage for culture.
D) Promptly report this assessment finding to the primary care provider.
Bile is usually a dark green or brownish-yellow color, so this would constitute an expected assessment finding, with no other action necessary.
A) “How many alcoholic drinks do you typically consume in a week?”
B) “To the best of your knowledge, are your immunizations up to date?”
C) “Have you ever worked in an occupation where you might have been exposed to toxins?”
D) “Has anyone in your family ever experienced symptoms similar to yours?”
Signs or symptoms of hepatic dysfunction indicate a need to assess for alcohol use. Immunization status, occupational risks, and family history are also relevant considerations, but alcohol use is a more common etiologic factor in liver disease.
B) Constructional apraxia
C) Fetor hepaticus
D) Palmar erythema
The nurse will document that a patient exhibiting a flapping tremor of the hands is demonstrating asterixis. While constructional apraxia is a motor disturbance, it is the inability to reproduce a simple figure. Fetor hepaticus is a sweet, slightly fecal odor to the breath and not associated with a motor disturbance. Skin changes associated with liver dysfunction may include palmar erythema, which is a reddening of the palms, but is not a flapping tremor.
B) Liver transplantation
D) Laser hyperthermia
Surgical resection is the treatment of choice when HCC is confined to one lobe of the liver and the function of the remaining liver is considered adequate for postoperative recovery. Removal of a lobe of the liver (lobectomy) is the most common surgical procedure for excising a liver tumor. While cryosurgery and liver transplantation are other surgical options for management of liver cancer, these procedures are not performed at the same frequency as a lobectomy. Laser hyperthermia is a nonsurgical treatment for liver cancer.
A) Persistent fever and cognitive changes
B) Abdominal pain and hepatomegaly
C) Peripheral edema unresponsive to diuresis
D) Spontaneous bleeding and jaundice
The early manifestations of malignancy of the liver include pain—a continuous dull ache in the right upper quadrant, epigastrium, or back. Weight loss, loss of strength, anorexia, and anemia may also occur. The liver may be enlarged and irregular on palpation. Jaundice is present only if the larger bile ducts are occluded by the pressure of malignant nodules in the hilum of the liver. Fever, cognitive changes, peripheral edema, and bleeding are atypical signs.
A) Position the patient on the right side with a pillow under the costal margin after the procedure.
B) Administer 1 unit of albumin 90 minutes before the procedure as ordered.
C) Administer at least 1 unit of packed red blood cells as ordered the day before the scheduled procedure.
D) Confirm that the patient’s electrolyte levels have been assessed prior to the procedure.
Immediately after a percutaneous liver biopsy, assist the patient to turn onto the right side and place a pillow under the costal margin. Prior administration of albumin or PRBCs is unnecessary. Coagulation tests should be performed, but electrolyte analysis is not necessary.
A) Stage 1
B) Stage 2
C) Stage 3
D) Stage 4
Patients in the third stage of hepatic encephalopathy exhibit the following symptoms: stuporous, difficult to arouse, sleeps most of the time, exhibits marked confusion, incoherent in speech, asterixis, increased deep tendon reflexes, rigidity of extremities, marked EEG abnormalities. Patients in stages 1 and 2 exhibit clinical symptoms that are not as advanced as found in stage 3, and patients in stage 4 are comatose. In stage 4, there is an absence of asterixis, absence of deep tendon reflexes, flaccidity of extremities, and EEG abnormalities.
A) Two to 3 soft bowel movements daily
B) Significant increase in appetite and food intake
C) Absence of nausea and vomiting
D) Absence of blood or mucus in stool
Lactulose (Cephulac) is administered to reduce serum ammonia levels. Two or three soft stools per day are desirable; this indicates that lactulose is performing as intended. Lactulose does not address the patient’s appetite, symptoms of nausea and vomiting, or the development of blood and mucus in the stool.
A) Similar liver size and texture as in younger adults
B) A nonpalpable liver
C) A slightly enlarged liver with palpably hard edges
D) A slightly decreased size of the liver
The most common age-related change in the liver is a decrease in size and weight. The liver is usually still palpable, however, and is not expected to have hardened edges.
A) Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
B) C-reactive protein (CRP)
C) Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT)
D) Aspartate aminotransferase (AST)
E) B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP)
Liver function testing includes GGT, ALT, and AST. CRP addresses the presence of generalized inflammation and BNP is relevant to heart failure; neither is included in a liver panel.
A) Increased potassium intake
B) Fluid restriction to 2 L per day
C) Reduction in sodium intake
D) High-protein, low-fat diet
Patients with ascites require a sharp reduction in sodium intake. Potassium intake should not be correspondingly increased. There is no need for fluid restriction or increased protein intake.
A) Mobilization with assistance at least 4 times daily
B) Administration of beta-adrenergic blockers as ordered
C) Vitamin B12 injections as ordered
D) Administration of diuretics as ordered
Use of diuretics along with sodium restriction is successful in 90% of patients with ascites. Beta-blockers are not used to treat ascites and bed rest is often more beneficial than increased mobility. Vitamin B12 injections are not necessary.
A) Measurement of abdominal girth and body weight
B) Assessment for variceal bleeding
C) Assessment for signs and symptoms of jaundice
D) Monitoring of results of liver function testing
Esophageal varices are a major cause of mortality in patients with uncompensated cirrhosis. Consequently, this should be a focus of the nurse’s assessments and should be prioritized over the other listed assessments, even though each should be performed.
A) Keep patient NPO until the results of test are known.
B) Keep patient NPO until the patient’s gag reflex returns.
C) Administer analgesia until post-procedure tenderness is relieved.
D) Give the patient a cold beverage to promote swallowing ability.
After the examination, fluids are not given until the patient’s gag reflex returns. Lozenges and gargles may be used to relieve throat discomfort if the patient’s physical condition and mental status permit. The result of the test is known immediately. Food and fluids are contraindicated until the gag reflex returns.
A) Administration of immune globulins
B) A regimen of antiviral medications
C) Rest and watchful waiting
D) Administration of fresh-frozen plasma (FFP)
There is no benefit from rest, diet, or vitamin supplements in HCV treatment. Studies have demonstrated that a combination of two antiviral agents, Peg-interferon and ribavirin (Rebetol), is effective in producing improvement in patients with hepatitis C and in treating relapses. Immune globulins and FFP are not indicated.
A) Disposing of sharps appropriately and not recapping needles
B) Performing meticulous hand hygiene at the appropriate moments in care
C) Adhering to the recommended schedule of immunizations
D) Wearing an N95 mask when providing care for patients on airborne precautions
HCV is bloodborne. Consequently, prevention of needlestick injuries is paramount. Hand hygiene, immunizations and appropriate use of masks are important aspects of overall infection control, but these actions do not directly mitigate the risk of HCV.
A) Ensure that the patient’s sodium intake does not exceed recommended levels.
B) Report this finding to the primary care provider due to the possibility of hepatic encephalopathy.
C) Inform the primary care provider that the patient should be assessed for alcoholic hepatitis.
D) Implement interventions aimed at ensuring a calm and therapeutic care environment.
Monitoring is an essential nursing function to identify early deterioration in mental status. The nurse monitors the patient’s mental status closely and reports changes so that treatment of encephalopathy can be initiated promptly. This change in status is likely unrelated to sodium intake and would not signal the onset of hepatitis. A supportive care environment is beneficial, but does not address the patient’s physiologic deterioration.
A) Administering diuretics
B) Administering calcium channel blockers
C) Implementing fluid restrictions
D) Implementing a 1500 kcal/day restriction
E) Enhancing patient positioning
Administering diuretics, implementing fluid restrictions, and enhancing patient positioning can optimize the management of fluid volume excess. Calcium channel blockers and calorie restriction do not address this problem.
A) Aspirating bile from the catheter using a syringe
B) Removing the catheter when output is 15 mL in 24 hours
C) Instilling antibiotics into the catheter
D) Assessing the patency of the drainage catheter
Families should be taught to provide basic catheter care, including assessment of patency. Antibiotics are not instilled into the catheter and aspiration using a syringe is contraindicated. The family would not independently remove the catheter; this would be done by a member of the care team when deemed necessary.
A) Remove the patient’s commode and supply a bedpan.
B) Complete an incident report and submit it to the unit supervisor.
C) Have the patient assessed by the physician due to the risk of internal bleeding.
D) Perform a focused abdominal assessment in order to rule out injury.
A fall would necessitate thorough medical assessment due to the patient’s risk of bleeding. The nurse’s abdominal assessment is an appropriate action, but is not wholly sufficient to rule out internal injury. Medical assessment is a priority over removing the commode or filling out an incident report, even though these actions are appropriate.
A) Continuous monitoring for portal hypertension
B) Administration of immunosuppressive drugs during the first weeks after transplantation
C) Real-time monitoring of vascular changes in the hepatic system
D) Delivery of a continuous chemotherapeutic dose
In most cases, the hepatic artery catheter has been inserted surgically and has a prefilled infusion pump that delivers a continuous chemotherapeutic dose until completed. The hepatic artery catheter does not monitor portal hypertension, deliver immunosuppressive drugs, or monitor vascular changes in the hepatic system.
A) Destruction of the patient’s liver tumor
B) Restoration of portal vein patency
C) Destruction of a liver abscess
D) Reversal of metastasis
Using radiofrequency ablation, a tumor up to 5 cm in size can be destroyed in one treatment session. This technique does not address circulatory function or abscess formation. It does not allow for the reversal of metastasis.
a) Carbohydrate metabolism
b) Glucose metabolism
c) Zinc storage
d) Ammonia conversion
e) Protein metabolism
• Ammonia conversion
• Protein metabolism
Functions of the liver include the metabolism of glucose, protein, fat, and drugs; conversion of ammonia; storage of vitamins and iron; formation of bile; and excretion of bilirubin. The liver is not responsible for the metabolism of carbohydrates or the storage of zinc. (less)
a) Activity intolerance related to fatigue, general debility, muscle wasting, and discomfort
b) Altered nutrition, more than body requirements, related to decreased activity and bed rest
c) Risk for injury related to altered clotting mechanisms
d) Disturbed body image related to changes in appearance, sexual dysfunction, and role function
e) Urinary incontinence related to general debility and muscle wasting
• Disturbed body image related to changes in appearance, sexual dysfunction, and role function
• Activity intolerance related to fatigue, general debility, muscle wasting, and discomfort
Risks for injury, activity intolerance, and disturbed body image are priority nursing diagnoses. The appropriate nursing diagnosis related to nutrition would be altered nutrition, less than body requirements, related to chronic gastritis, decreased GI motility, and anorexia. Urinary incontinence is not generally a concern with hepatic cirrhosis.
b) Continuous aching in the back
e) Increased appetite
• Continuous aching in the back
Early manifestations of liver cancer include pain and continuous dull aching in the right upper quadrant epigastrium or back. Weight loss, anorexia, and anemia may occur. Jaundice is present only if the larger bile ducts are occluded by the pressure of malignant nodules in the hilum of the liver. Fever and vomiting are not associated manifestations.