Sengstaken Blakemore Tube
This is an emergency procedure used to stop active bleeding from both the stomach and gullet in which a tube will be passed through your mouth (or nose) into your gullet and stomach. It is limited to uncontrolled bleeding for those with varices where other medications do not have an effect.
You may be given deep sedation before being admitted to a high dependency unit (HDU) or an intensive care unit (ITU) where you may be placed on a breathing machine. The breathing machine allows you to remain deeply sedated and prevents your lungs from being filled up with blood. The bleeding is caused by ruptured gastric or oesophageal varices. This device has two balloons which once inflated, put pressure on the varices and help control the bleeding. You will receive blood transfusions and clotting products to control the bleeding as well as drugs to keep your blood pressure within a safe limit.
This procedure has a good success rate but is a temporary procedure until more permanent treatment can be determined for you. This may be endoscopic or radiological (TIPSS) or, rarely, surgery (including transplantation).
Hemodyalisis and Haemofiltration
If you suffer from liver failure your kidneys may shut down. This means your body will need help to clear your blood of waste products and extra fluid. This is carried out by using a kidney-dialysis machine. Should this become necessary you will be referred to a specialist unit, either renal or intensive therapy (ITU) who will keep a close eye on you, supported by your liver doctors.