Risks for and prevention of infective endocarditis

Cardiology Clinics
J S Child

Abstract

It is accepted medical practice to prevent bacterial endocarditis in patients with susceptible congenital or acquired cardiac malformations who are likely to experience predictable procedure-related bacteremia. Patients in general, those with congenital heart disease specifically, are insufficiently aware of the need for such prophylaxis. It is responsibility of the physician to determine which patients are susceptible to endocarditis and the need for endocarditis prophylaxis for each patient for any given instance and to educate the patient as to this need. The American Heart Association provides wallet-sized cards that may be given to each patient. Those patients not previously known to have heart disease are, of course, not eligible for chemoprophylaxis. Because these represent many of the patients with endocarditis each year, it can be argued that only a minority of patients have preventable cases. Regarding the clinical application of anti-infective endocarditis prophylaxis, the American Heart Association gives this perspective: This statement represents recommended guidelines to supplement practitioners in the exercise of their clinical judgement and is not intended as a standard of care for all cases.... Because no adequ...Continue Reading

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