109: Liver Failure Part 2: Esophageal Varices

Rapid Response RN

109: Liver Failure Part 2: Esophageal Varices

June 14, 2024

109: Liver Failure Part 2: Esophageal Varices

A cirrhosis patient has stable vitals, but then starts vomiting blood. What do you do next? This episode delves into a case study that highlights the urgent management of esophageal varices in liver failure patients. Host Sarah Lorenzini reveals how a rapid response call quickly spiraled into a life-threatening emergency, and the critical steps taken to stabilize the patient.

Sarah explains the pathophysiology of cirrhosis and the development of esophageal varices, detailing the pharmacological and procedural interventions that can make the difference between life and death. You’ll get a comprehensive overview of evidence-based treatment strategies, how to manage complications, and the crucial role of nurses in patient care.

Tune in to arm yourself with the knowledge to handle this critical liver emergency!

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Management of a cirrhosis patient with a GI bleed 
  • How liver failure can lead to a bleeding esophagus
  • Challenges of giving blood transfusions to liver failure patients
  • Pharmacological interventions: octreotide, antibiotics, and beta-blockers
  • Procedural interventions: endoscopic variceal ligation, TIPS procedure, and balloon tamponade

Listen to Episode 77, “The Trauma, Diamond of Death:”

To learn more about balloon tamponade, check out this breakdown of the procedure:

Mentioned in this episode:

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This episode was produced by Podcast Boutique

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