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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 dehydration 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 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 semen or vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood) of someone who has hepatitis B.

Watchful waiting

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:

These specialists may work with your doctor to plan treatment:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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