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Endocarditis In Children


Endocarditis is an infection of the inner lining of your child's heart. It may also affect the valves in his heart.


Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child has a seizure.
  • Your child has a bad headache, vomiting, or a fever.
  • Your child has sudden weakness in an arm or leg, or trouble walking.
  • Your child has sudden trouble speaking.
  • Your child suddenly cannot use one side of his body.
  • Your child has severe chest pain.
  • Your child has sudden trouble breathing or shortness of breath while lying down.
  • Your child's heart is beating faster than normal.
  • Your child loses consciousness or cannot be woken.

Seek care immediately if:

  • Your child has new or increased swelling in his feet or ankles.
  • Your child feels dizzy or faints.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child will not eat or has a poor appetite.
  • Your child is weak.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


Your child may need any of the following:

  • Antibiotics help treat an infection caused by bacteria. Your child may need IV antibiotics for 4 to 8 weeks.
  • Antifungals help treat an infection caused by fungus.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Call your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Have your child rest as directed:

Some activities may put too much stress on your child's heart. Ask his healthcare provider which activities are safe for him to do. Also ask when he can return to his normal activities.

Do not let your older child smoke.

Do not smoke near your child. Keep your child away from others who smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can make it hard to heal from endocarditis. These substances can also increase your child's risk for damage to his heart valves. Ask your child's healthcare provider for information if you or your child currently smokes and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your child's healthcare provider before he uses these products.

Care for your child's intravenous (IV) catheter:

Your child may go home with an IV catheter. This catheter can be used to give him IV antibiotic medicine at home. A home health nurse may give him the IV medicine or may teach you how to give the medicine. Ask his healthcare provider for information on how to care for his IV catheter.

Prevent endocarditis:

  • Keep your child's teeth and gums healthy. Have your child brush his teeth 2 to 3 times every day. It is best to brush his teeth after meals. Gently brush his teeth and gums with a clean toothbrush that has soft bristles. Take your child to the dentist every 6 months. Tell your child's dentist that he has had endocarditis.
  • Ask your child's healthcare provider if he should take antibiotics before procedures. Some procedures may cause bacteria to get into your child's blood and travel to his heart. He may need antibiotic medicine before a procedure to prevent this.
  • Carry a wallet card that says your child is at risk for endocarditis: This card will alert healthcare providers that your child is at risk for endocarditis. It will also help them decide if he needs antibiotics before a procedure or in an emergency. You can get this card through the American Heart Association.
    • American Heart Association
      7272 Greenville Avenue
      Dallas , TX 75231-4596
      Phone: 1- 800 - 242-8721
      Web Address:

Follow up with your child's cardiologist as directed:

Your child may need to return for more tests. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

© 2016 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.