Alcohol-related liver disease (ALRD) is a form of liver damage caused by excessive drinking. It’s one of the most common causes of death in the UK, but unfortunately, there are usually no symptoms until the liver is already seriously damaged. Symptoms at this stage can include:
- Vomiting blood/blood in stools
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swelling tummy and ankles
The liver plays an important role in the body; it helps fight infections, aids digestion, filters toxins from the blood and regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The liver can regenerate itself but prolonged heavy drinking can cause serious damage and reduce its ability to regenerate. There are three stages of ALRD, and the damage caused to the liver can usually be reversed by stopping drinking in the first two stages, Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Alcoholic Hepatitis. If the disease progresses to the third stage, Cirrhosis, scarring to the liver occurs which is irreversible.
There is no treatment for ALRD but those affected will need to stop drinking immediately and for the rest of their lives; in severe cases, a liver transplant may be needed. Many people diagnosed struggle to stop drinking and may need additional support. Failure to diagnose alcohol-related liver disease could mean somebody with liver disease carries on drinking and causes irreversible damage to their liver.
Claiming compensation for a failed diagnosis
You rely on your GP to diagnose you when you’re unwell, and failure to diagnose alcohol-related liver disease could have serious consequences. Failure to diagnose any illness could mean you don’t get the treatment you need, your symptoms may worsen and you may need to take time off work, suffering from loss of earnings. In some cases, failure to diagnose may even have fatal consequences for the patient. If you have been affected by medical negligence, you could claim compensation.
Contact Accident Advice Helpline
Accident Advice Helpline offer confidential, no-obligation advice if you’re thinking of making a claim for medical negligence. Endorsed by our patron, TV personality Esther Rantzen, and accredited by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, we provide our customers with the very highest levels of service. We’ll support your throughout the claims process to get you the compensation you deserve. Why not take the 30-second test on our website, to see how much you could claim, or call our freephone helpline today on 0800 689 0500 to speak to one of our professional personal injury lawyers?
Date Published: August 14, 2014
Author: David Brown