There are four chambers and four valves that are located on the inside of your heart that are lined by a thin membrane that is known as the endocardium. Endocarditis is inflammation and/or infection of this inner layer of your heart. Endocarditis also usually affects your heart valves (prosthetic or native valves).
Infective endocarditis, which is also known as bacterial endocarditis is one of the kinds of endocarditis. Somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 people are affected by infective endocarditis each year in the United States.
Even though infective endocarditis is not a common disease, it is a dangerous one. Even with antimicrobial therapy, infective endocarditis can result in the need for open heart surgery, stroke or even death.
Infective endocarditis is brought about by germs that get into your bloodstream, travel to your heart and attach themselves to damaged heart tissue or abnormal heart valves. In most cases of infective endocarditis, bacteria are the cause, but fungi or other microorganisms can also lead to the disease.
Sometimes, infective endocarditis may be caused by one of the many common bacteria that live in your upper respiratory tract, mouth or other areas of your body. In other instances, the organism that brings about this disease may get into your bloodstream through an infection or some other medical disorder, certain common everyday activities like brushing your teeth or chewing your food, the use of needles or catheters or having dental or respiratory tract procedures.
There are several risk factors that may increase your risk of getting infective endocarditis. These include:
- Any dental procedure
- IV drug use
- A congenital heart defect
- A prior episode of endocarditis
- Surgery on your urinary or gastrointestinal tracks
- Having an artificial heart valve
- Scarring of your heart valve from rheumatic fever or other disorders
- Mitral valve prolapse with a good deal of abnormal backflow of blood (regurgitation)
- Procedures that involve your nose, ears and throat
The signs and symptoms that you may experience with infective endocarditis will vary according to the kind of the disease that you have and the cause of your infection. Possible signs and symptoms are:
- Bumpy, painless nodules that appear on the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands
- Weight loss that is unintentional
- Joint pain or arthritis
- Petechiae (these are tiny, purplish-red pinpoint spots of bleeding that are located under your skin)
- A cough that is persistent
- Shortness of breath
- Back or chest pain
- Splinter hemorrhages (these are dark red lines of bleeding that are under your nails)
- Oster’s nodes (these are tender spots under the skin on the pads of your fingers)
- Night sweats.
There are other signs and symptoms that may be produced by infective endocarditis, which can only be seen and confirmed by your doctor. Some of these include:
- Embolisms that are brought about by clumps of blood cells and infectious bacteria or fungi
- A stroke
- An enlarged spleen
- A change in the quality of an existing heart murmur or a new heart murmur.
Are you no longer able to work because of disability that you have sustained due to complications that have resulted from infective endocarditis and/or other conditions that you have along with this disease? If this is the case, are you in need of financial help?
Have you made a request for Social Security disability benefits or disability benefits from the Social Security Administration? Has your request been denied by the Social Security Administration?
If you plan on reapplying or appealing your denial, you will need the help and advice of a disability attorney. The attorney at disabilitycasereview.com is the one to turn to.
Do not wait. Make your way to disabilitycasereview.com, without delay.
- Surgery improves endocarditis-induced heart failure survival rates (eurekalert.org)
- Click Murmur Syndrome could qualify you for SSI or SSDI (disabilitycasereview.com)