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Endocarditis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Endocarditis is an infection of the tissue that lines the inside of your heart. Many times it also affects valves of your heart. Endocarditis, and the health problems it may cause, can be serious and can become life-threatening.


CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Endocarditis increases your risk for heart failure and stroke. It may also increase your risk for a blood clot in other organs, and cause that organ to die. Endocarditis increases your risk for arthritis, kidney infection, heart arrhythmias, and other heart problems. These may become life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Activity:

You may need to rest in bed until your heart problem is under control. Your caregiver will tell you when it is okay to get out of bed. Call your caregiver before you get up for the first time. If you feel weak or dizzy, sit or lie down right away and call your caregiver.

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics help treat or prevent a bacterial infection.

  • Blood pressure medicine is given to decrease your blood pressure.

  • Heart medicine is given to strengthen or regulate your heartbeat.

  • Diuretics decrease excess fluid. You may urinate more often when you take this medicine.

  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

Monitoring:

  • Telemetry is continuous monitoring of your heart rhythm. Sticky pads placed on your skin connect to an EKG machine that records your heart rhythm.

  • Intake and output of the amount of liquids you are drinking and urinating may need to be tracked. Do not flush your urine down the toilet unless caregivers say it is okay.

  • Pulse oximetry measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.

  • You may be weighed each day. Caregivers compare your weight from day to day to make sure you do not lose or retain too much fluid.

Tests:

  • An echocardiogram is a type of ultrasound. Sound waves are used to show the structure and function of your heart.

  • An x-ray, CT scan, or MRI scan may be used. You may be given contrast dye before a CT or MRI scan to help caregivers see your heart better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye. Do not enter the MRI room with anything metal. Metal can cause serious injury. Tell the caregiver if you have any metal in or on your body.

  • Cardiac catheterization is a procedure to find the cause of and treat a heart condition. A thin, flexible tube is inserted into a vein in your arm, neck, or groin and is moved into your heart. Contrast dye may used so the pictures show up better on a monitor.

Treatment:

  • Oxygen is given to help you breathe easier and decrease your symptoms.

  • Surgery is done to repair or replace a damaged heart valve.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Endocarditis (Inpatient Care)

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