Hepatitis Forums

Hepatitis C Main Forums => I Just Tested Positive for Hepatitis C => Topic started by: macadamia on April 19, 2017, 09:17:27 am

Title: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: macadamia on April 19, 2017, 09:17:27 am
Hello all! I've been searching everywhere for answers with no luck, so hopefully someone here will have some info for me. It looks like a great forum you all have here.

I adopted my son when he was born two weeks ago. His birth mother, it turns out, has hep C and didn't tell us; the hospital told us after he was born. At one of her prenatal visits, she tested positive for antibodies, so they tested for live virus and found it, but I don't know her viral load and probably will never get that information. She does not have HIV, which I understand means he has less of a chance of catching it. She did, however, have a massive placental abruption at the time of his birth (caused by cocaine) and nearly bled to death while he was in utero. During this traumatic birth by emergency C-section, he was born stunned and in severe distress, but he's fine now.

I understand we can't test him just yet to confirm whether he actually has hep C, so for now we're just living as though he does. We're good about thoroughly washing our hands when we change him and everything, and as he's only two weeks old there hasn't been much bleeding on his part. However I just want to be sure we do as much as we can to avoid any possible transmission to my husband or myself. I'm sensitive to medications and can't take meds very well, so even though hep C is generally treatable, I really want to avoid exposure until we know for sure that my son doesn't have it.

Right now the main issue on my mind is whether I can bathe with him. I've been looking forward to taking him in a warm bath to soothe him when he's fussy, and have had to wait until his umbilical stump fell off first. He lost it yesterday, but his navel still bleeds a little occasionally and I'm still using rubbing alcohol to clean the dried blood from it. Is there a risk if I take him into the bath and his navel bleeds a bit while we're in there? Should I avoid bathing with him at all, or at least until he hasn't bled?

Is there anything else I need to know? Everything I can find online about babies and hep C is how to avoid giving it to the baby; there's not anything out there on how to avoid catching it FROM a baby. I'd be grateful for any advice or guidance you all might have.

Thank you!
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: Lynn K on April 19, 2017, 04:39:26 pm
Per the CDC the risk of transmission in a household setting is very low. Hep c transmission requires hep c infected blood to enter the blood stream. Even in the situation involving a medical worker experiencing an accidental needlestick involving a patient with known hepatitis C the odds of transmission is only about 1.8%.

Also, the odds of vertical transmission between mother to child is only about 6% so relatively low.

Some links

http://hepc.liverfoundation.org/diagnosis/how-hep-c-is-spread/

IS HEP C CONTAGIOUS?

Hepatitis C transmission happens only through exposure to an infected person’s blood. It is not contagious like the common cold. You cannot get, or give, Hepatitis C by:

Kissing
Hugging
Holding hands
Casual contact
Sneezing
Coughing
Sharing eating utensils
Sharing food or drink
Breastfeeding (unless nipples are cracked and bleeding)


https://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hcv/cfaq.htm#cFAQ34

From the CDC FAQ about hepatitis c for the general public

Can Hepatitis C be spread within a household?
Yes, but this does not occur very often. If Hepatitis C virus is spread within a household, it is most likely a result of direct, through-the-skin exposure to the blood of an infected household member.

How should blood spills be cleaned from surfaces to make sure that Hepatitis C virus is gone?
Any blood spills — including dried blood, which can still be infectious — should be cleaned using a dilution of one part household bleach to 10 parts water. Gloves should be worn when cleaning up blood spills.

How long does the Hepatitis C virus survive outside the body?
The Hepatitis C virus can survive outside the body at room temperature, on environmental surfaces, for up to 3 weeks.

What are ways Hepatitis C is not spread?
Hepatitis C virus is not spread by sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. It is also not spread through food or water.

Who is at risk for Hepatitis C?

Some people are at increased risk for Hepatitis C, including:

Current injection drug users (currently the most common way Hepatitis C virus is spread in the United States)
Past injection drug users, including those who injected only one time or many years ago
Recipients of donated blood, blood products, and organs (once a common means of transmission but now rare in the United States since blood screening became available in 1992)
People who received a blood product for clotting problems made before 1987
Hemodialysis patients or persons who spent many years on dialysis for kidney failure
People who received body piercing or tattoos done with non-sterile instruments
People with known exposures to the Hepatitis C virus, such as
Health care workers injured by needlesticks
Recipients of blood or organs from a donor who tested positive for the Hepatitis C virus
HIV-infected persons
Children born to mothers infected with the Hepatitis C virus

Less common risks include:

Having sexual contact with a person who is infected with the Hepatitis C virus
Sharing personal care items, such as razors or toothbrushes, that may have come in contact with the blood of an infected person

What is the risk of a pregnant woman passing Hepatitis C to her baby?

Hepatitis C is rarely passed from a pregnant woman to her baby. About 6 of every 100 infants born to mothers with Hepatitis C become infected with the virus. However, the risk becomes greater if the mother has both HIV infection and Hepatitis C.

Congratulations on your new addition to your family. You are very generous to invite this little one into your lives.

Best of luck to you all.
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: concerned father on April 19, 2017, 08:46:36 pm
Hi macadamia,

Just like you, 22 years ago we adopted a baby girl infected with Hep C.  We adopted her when she was 9 months old so by that time, all the tests were done and we knew with certainty that she had the virus.  During the first 20 years of her life we just made sure that we didn't come in direct contact with her blood.  Other than that, we lived the same way we did before we adopted her.  Personally I would wait until his  navel stops bleeding before bathing with him.  A year and a half ago she was treated with Havoni and now she is virus free.  Here is the link of the story I was asked to write. https://www.hepmag.com/article/jm

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via this thread or by private massage.
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: macadamia on April 21, 2017, 10:01:54 am
Thanks so much to you both! I've read the CDC article and understand household transmission is low, but parents caring for an infant tend to come into more contact with body fluids than adults who live together typically do.

That's great news about your daughter, concerned father! I'm glad she's virus-free and all is well. Did you find you had to take extra precautions in childhood to avoid exposing other children to her blood? Like, I had hoped to enroll my son in martial arts (it's something I enjoy and would like to share with him) but am unsure if there's a risk if he bleeds in class. Playground injuries, skinned knees, losing teeth... kids bleed a lot, and often on each other. If my son does have hep C I don't really feel like that's everybody's business, but I also don't want to put other kids at risk. How did you handle that?

Thanks again for the help! I really appreciate this forum and your advice.
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: concerned father on April 21, 2017, 10:42:45 am
My daughter did take MMA classes while growing up.  When she was old enough to understand we explained the safety precautions it was never a problem.  One time she cut her hand and she immediately told her friends not to take care of her due to the virus.  Growing up we made sure that her tooth brushes and razors for her legs were kept separately from the others.  Never once did we use gloves to interact with her as a baby i.e. changing her diapers or giving her her bath. 

If you need more info please don't hesitate.
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: Lynn K on April 21, 2017, 01:58:07 pm
Just wanted to comment on your remark "parents caring for an infant tend to come into more contact with body fluids than adults"

Hep c is not transmitted by body fluids only by blood to blood contact which is why the CDC said household risk is low I am sure they considered all members of a household.

You can't get hep c by coming into contact with urine, vomit, saliva, feces, tears etc unless they contain blood and the blood enters your blood stream.

Hep c really is not easily transmitted. Even in the case of long term monogamous couples the CDC does not suggest the use of barrier protection as the risk of transmission for such couples is low. Surely such couples come into contact with many bodily fluids during the course of sexual relations.

Also another situation if a health care worker experiences an accidental needle stick involving a patient with known hep c the odds of transmission are only about 1.8%.

All this is why the CDC says household transmission is low. There could be a concern in child rough play as concerned dad said to make sure care is taken if she has a bleeding wound.

I worked in a machine and experienced bleeding wounds on occasion. When coworkers wanted to help I would just turn away and say I've got it and head to the first aid kit and the rest room to avoid exposing them to my blood. If my injury was more serious I would go to our company medical.

Best to you and your family
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: dragonslayer on April 21, 2017, 03:26:14 pm
I dont think I ever really understood this.. Why is transmission between monogamous couples nonexistent, but is more common among those with multiple partners?   I mean, I understand that there is greater risk in coming in contact with someone infected , but if one spouse has it and the other doesnt, why does monogamous behavior prevent transmission when sex outside that relation does not?
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: Lynn K on April 21, 2017, 04:00:05 pm
Me neither really as long as whips and chains aren't involved I would think it should be equal except for the increased risk if one partner has hiv. Maybe just that promiscuous folks are at increased risk in general. While hep is not considered to be an STD it is not impossible to become infected from a partner.
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: macadamia on April 23, 2017, 07:43:50 am
My daughter did take MMA classes while growing up.  When she was old enough to understand we explained the safety precautions it was never a problem.  One time she cut her hand and she immediately told her friends not to take care of her due to the virus.  Growing up we made sure that her tooth brushes and razors for her legs were kept separately from the others.  Never once did we use gloves to interact with her as a baby i.e. changing her diapers or giving her her bath.

This is EXACTLY what I needed to know! Thank you so much! You've really eased my mind a great deal.

Thanks to everyone.
Title: Re: Caring for a baby with possible Hep C
Post by: concerned father on April 23, 2017, 05:35:12 pm
Any time