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Infective Endocarditis

Get the facts on Infective Endocarditis treatment, diagnosis, staging, causes, types, symptoms. Information and current news about clinical trials and trial-related data, Infective Endocarditis prevention, screening, research, statistics and other Infective Endocarditis related topics. We answer all your qestions about Infective Endocarditis.

Question: What is infective endocarditis? What are the conditions that predispose a person to infective endocarditis. ? How is it prevented?

Answer: endocarditis means infection of the heart valves. bad teeth ----> infection of the valves with viridans strep species and other mouth organisms that seed the blood and get on the valve. IV drug use ---> infection of the valves by poor skin prep -- the patient injects through dirty skin, seeding the blood stream with staph organisms, very rarely pseudomonas aeruginosa. And these land on the heart valves. besides those two groups, anyone who has an artificial heart valve is at greater risk of getting infection. People with leaky valves (manifest on exam by the presence of a heart murmur) are at higher risk. it is prevented by NOT using IV drugs, by getting good DENTAL care. You'll read much about giving an antibiotic before going to the dentist - but the fact is that this practice has NEVER been shown to be effective in preventing heart valve infections -- mostly because the infection doesn't come from the two days a year that you see the dentist, it comes from the 363 OTHER days out of the year when you were shooting drugs and walking around with rotten teeth in your head.

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