This year, World Hepatitis Day is on Friday, July 28th. We all know the word, but
do we really understand what Hepatitis C is, or its impact on people? It is much more
common and impactful than you may think, and that is why we interviewed Compass
Community Health’s Disease Intervention Specialist Crystal Gullion (LPN) for her take
on Hepatitis C. This is what she had to say.
What is Hepatitis C?
“Hepatitis C is a contagious disease of the liver, caused by coming in contact
with the blood of an infected person. These transmissions can occur through injection
drug use, birth, healthcare exposures, intercourse, unregulated tattoos and body
piercings, sharing personal items such as razors and nail clippers, and blood
transfusions and organ transplants prior to 1992.”
Who has Hepatitis C?
“Around 2.4 million Americans have Hep C, with many of those not knowing!”
Why would so many Americans not know they have Hepatitis C?
“For millions of people, Hepatitis C causes no symptoms until severe liver
damage has occurred. Once liver damage has occurred some of those symptoms can
be fatigue, joint pain, headache, stomach pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and
discolored urine and stool.”
Who needs to be tested for Hepatitis C?
“ALL adults aged 18 and over!”
Who needs treatment for Hepatitis C?
“EVERYONE who tests positive for the Hepatitis C virus!”
What treatments are available today?
“The most common treatments available today, which we use here at Compass,
are oral medications. Some medications you take daily for 8 weeks while others you
take it daily for 12 weeks!”
How difficult is it for a patient to get treatment?
“It is easier today than it has ever been for us in the state of Ohio to treat Hep C!
Patient’s only need minimal labs drawn for a provider to prescribe medication, and
obtaining insurance approval is beyond easy!”
For those that don’t have insurance, are treatment options available?
“Absolutely! The drug companies making these medications have patient
assistance programs that have the ability to cover the treatment entirely. There are also
other organizations and foundations offering payment assistance for those with high
copays, or those not qualifying for the drug company patient assistance programs!
Patient’s no longer need to let insurance or financial barriers interfere with their
Hepatitis C treatment!”
For patients who have been treated, are there any side effects?
“With any medication, side effects are listed, but with these medicines they are
very minimal with most of our patients reporting NO side effects. The most common
side effects can be nausea, headache, and fatigue; the few patients we have had
experience these, report the side effects dissipating by days 4 and 5 of treatment with our
help and guidance!”
What does it mean for a patient to be cured of Hepatitis C?
“A patient must complete their medication regimen and 12 weeks after
completing it, will need to have one lab drawn, this lab draw will tell a patient and their
care team they have been cured by treatment!”
What happens if a patient ignores their Hepatitis C diagnosis?
“Unfortunately, Hepatitis C can cause liver cancer if left untreated; Hepatitis C is
the leading cause of liver cancer today.”
Now that a few basics have been covered about Hepatitis C, what makes Hepatitis C treatment different at Compass Community Health?
“The individualized treatment plan for each patient! Not every patient’s treatment
needs are the same, and we understand that! Our hepatitis c team’s goal is to support
and serve our patients in a manner that guides them individually through their Hep C
treatment to successfully reach a cure!”
Your health is important. Compass Community Health is here to help.
Reach out today!
-Message us on Facebook @ Compass Community Health
-Address: 1634 11th St, Portsmouth, OH 45662