Bacterial endocarditis (prophylaxis)

Bacterial endocarditis (BE) is a serious infection that affects the inner lining of the heart chambers and valves. It is caused by bacteria entering the bloodstream and attaching to damaged areas of the heart. This condition can lead to significant damage to the heart valves and potentially life-threatening complications.

Infective Endocarditis: Prophylaxis

Prophylaxis refers to preventive measures taken to reduce the risk of bacterial endocarditis, particularly in individuals with certain heart conditions or those undergoing invasive medical procedures. These procedures may introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, increasing the likelihood of bacterial endocarditis among susceptible individuals.

Prophylactic treatment typically involves the administration of antibiotics before invasive procedures to minimize the risk of bacterial infection. This approach aims to prevent bacteria from colonizing damaged heart tissues and causing endocarditis.

While prophylaxis is recommended in specific situations, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate course of action based on individual risk factors and medical history. Effective prophylaxis can significantly reduce the incidence of bacterial endocarditis and its potentially severe complications.

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Disease Causes
Bacterial endocarditis (prophylaxis)
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Existing heart disorders
  • Intravenous drug use
  • Previous episode of endocarditis
  • Undergoing invasive dental or surgical procedures
  • Artificial heart valves or prosthetic materials in the heart
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Immune system disorders

General Symptoms:

  • High fever
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Sweating, especially at night
  • Swelling in the legs or abdomen
  • New or worsening heart murmur
  • Flu-like symptoms such as chills and body aches
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Headaches
  • Changes in skin color or appearance