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Inquiring Minds Want to Know: Hepatitis A and B Vaccines

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

Hepatitis A and B Vaccines

By Audrey Kirchner



Question:  Why do you see hepatitis A and B in a document and you also see it capitalized as Hepatitis A vaccine?  I don’t understand the difference!


Conditions versus Vaccines

Can you tell me why you see hepatitis A and B in documents and then you see it capitalized as Hepatitis A vaccine?  It is oftentimes hard to see the distinction.  So much of healthcare documentation is based upon
the context of what we are transcribing about.  The condition of hepatitis A or hepatitis B is just that, a condition, so would not require capitalization in a sentence.  However, the vaccine for the condition is
actually naming the immunization and therefore, we note it as Hepatitis A vaccine or a Hepatitis B vaccine. 


Question:  Can you explain how to note the different types of hepatitis and how you note phrases like non hepatitis A and B?


Hepatitis Types

We use capital letters to show what type of hepatitis it is. We do not use hyphenation with the letters associated with the type.  However, we do use hyphenation when we connect the word non to the letter.


                hepatitis A

                hepatitis C

                non-A hepatitis

                non-A, non-B hepatitis


Hepatitis Abbreviations


                HBV                       hepatitis B virus

                HBsAg                   hepatitis B surface antigen

                anti-HAV                antibody to hepatitis A

                HBIG                      hepatitis B immunoglobulin


Question:  I’ve heard of something called a Child’s Pew score?  What is that and can you tell me what it is used for?  I know it has to do with the liver.


Child-Pugh score

This is a classification system used to assess the prognosis (mortality) of chronic liver disease, usually resulting from cirrhosis or hepatitis.  It is also called the Child-Turcotte-Pugh score. 


Five measures of liver disease are scored from 1-3 (with 3 being most severe):



                serum albumin

                prothrombin time (INR)


                hepatic encephalopathy


Liver disease severity is then classified as A through C after totaling the scores for each of the categories above (with class C being the most severe). 


Survival rates are as noted below.  Life expectancy with class A is 15-20 years, with class B transplant candidacy is an option, and class C has a life expectancy of 1-3 months.


Question:  I need help with understanding how to transcribe bacteria.  I am not sure if it’s okay to type out verbatim E coli if that is what’s dictated or should I expand to Escherichia


Genus and Species in GI Bacteria

When transcribing GI bacteria it can be confusing.  Here are some good rules to remember. 


We can note GI bacteria with the genus abbreviated if dictated:


                C difficile

                E coli

                H pylori


We do not need to put periods after the genus portion; however, it is recommended that we do not start sentences with this abbreviated form because it could be misinterpreted.  We should always recast.  Acceptable:


                He was treated for C difficile. 

                C difficile was found on repeat testing. 

                Change to:  On repeat testing, C difficile was found.


We should also not use the short form unless it is specifically allowed by the institution.  Example: On repeat testing, C diff was present.  In most cases, they will ask that you expand to C difficile to ensure
proper interpretation.


Most facilities also would want E coli or C difficile, etc. expanded to Escherichia coli or Clostridium difficile if they were mentioned in diagnoses, impressions, etc. but that is a style and formatting difference from one facility to another.