Symptoms of acute liver failure can be like those of a virus. This can include upset stomach, feeling tired all the time, or throwing up. This can quickly progress to jaundice (yellowing of the skin), encephalopathy and coagulopathy (problem with blood clotting).
In encephalopathy the brain does not work the way it should. This happens when the liver is not able to break down or get rid of toxic products. A liver that is working like it should is able to break down toxins and carry them out of the liver.
Encephalopathy always occurs when a child has sudden and severe liver failure. Infants up to 28 days old may not have many signs of encephalopathy that are easy to notice. But they will have jaundice symptoms.
Infants older than 28 days may be irritable, have crying spells and can't be made to feel better, or they might want to sleep more during the day than at night.
Older children may seem angry, have a hard time falling asleep, forget things, be confused, or feel drowsy.