Endocarditis is an inflammation of the lining of the heart and/or the valves of the heart. Usually it is caused by an infection in another part of the body, such as the teeth, tonsils, anal sacs, or kidneys. This infection reaches the heart through the bloodstream.
Endocarditis is a serious disease and may cause death. Blood clots may develop and further complicate an already serious condition.
Important Points in Treatment
1. Treatment for endocarditis is designed to eliminate infection. The severity of the condition and involvement of other parts of the body dictate whether hospitalization is necessary and the type of treatment used.
2. Extensive laboratory tests, including blood cultures, are used to diagnose the condition and assess the response to treatment. Chest radiographs (x-rays) and other cardiac tests may be required.
3. Medication: Give all medication as directed. Call the doctor if you cannot give the medication.