The liver is the largest organ in the body. It sits inside the tummy tucked up under your ribs on the right-hand side. The liver has important jobs to detoxify the blood, to produce clotting factors, to get rid of bile (a yellow waste fluid) and to regulate many parts of the body’s metabolism. When the liver goes wrong it can affect any or all of these very important functions. A good clue to a liver problem is if the skin has turned yellow, this is known as jaundice. Most liver conditions either get better by themselves or can be treated with medicine under the supervision of the liver team. In rare instances, the liver fails so badly a liver transplant is needed.
If the liver fails and there is no hope of it recovering, the liver team will almost certainly decide that the child needs a liver transplant. A transplant cannot be done until a liver becomes available. A liver can come from a donor who has died suddenly, usually in an accident. For some patients, it may be possible to take a small part of a parent’s liver and transplant this segment into the child.
Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) takes action against the effects of childhood liver disease, providing information, emotional support, research funds and a voice for all affected. Visit the website to find out more and get in touch: http://www.childliverdisease.org
Visit other sites for useful information:
- American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
- British Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
- British Association of Paediatric Surgeons
- British Liver Trust
- British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
- British Transplant Society
- Hepatitis C Trust
- International Paediatric Transplant Association
- Intestinal Transplant Registry
- Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
- Children living with inherited metabolic disorders