When To Call a Doctor
If you see a person with hepatitis B become unconscious, call 911 or other emergency services.
Call a doctor right away if you have been diagnosed with hepatitis B and you have severe Reference dehydration Opens New Window or these signs of liver failure:
- Extreme irritability.
- Trouble thinking clearly.
- Extreme sleepiness.
- Swelling of the arms, legs, hands, feet, belly, or face.
- Heavy bleeding from the nose, mouth, or rectum (including blood in the stool), or under the skin.
- Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes.
Call to make an appointment if:
- You have risk factors for hepatitis B, such as handling blood or body fluids as a routine part of your job or having many sex partners.
- You have any symptoms of hepatitis B (see Reference Symptoms).
- Someone in your household has been diagnosed with hepatitis B.
- Your sex partner has been diagnosed with hepatitis B.
- You have been bitten by or exposed to the blood or body fluids (such as Reference semen Opens New Window or vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood) of someone who has hepatitis B.
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor observe your symptoms or condition without using medical treatment. Because of the need to prevent the spread of hepatitis B, watchful waiting isn't advised if you have symptoms of the virus or if you think you have come in contact with the virus.
Who to see
Hepatitis B usually can be diagnosed by:
- Reference Family medicine doctors Opens New Window.
- Reference Pediatricians Opens New Window.
- Reference Internists Opens New Window.
- Reference Physician assistants Opens New Window.
- Reference Nurse practitioners Opens New Window.
These specialists may work with your doctor to plan treatment:
- Reference Gastroenterologist Opens New Window
- Reference Hepatologist Opens New Window
- Reference Infectious disease specialist Opens New Window
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Reference Making the Most of Your Appointment.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 29, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology