Know all about ...
A non-contagious infection of the valves or lining of the
heart, commonly involving heart muscle, heart valves and endocardium (inner lining of the
heart chambers and valves).
Equally affects both sexes and all ages.
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Intermittent fever, chills and excessive sweating,
especially at night.
- Weight loss.
- Vague aches and pains.
- Heart murmur.
- Severe chills and high fever.
- Shortness of breath on exertion.
- Swelling of the feet, legs and abdomen.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Bacteria or fungi that enter the blood and infect the valves and heart lining of children
with damaged hearts (see risks below), thus causing further damage to the heart valves,
muscles and linings.
Risk of heart-valve damage increases with:
- Rheumatic fever.
- Congenital heart disease.
Risk of endocarditis following heart-valve damage increases
- Excess alcohol consumption.
- Use of immunosuppressive drugs.
- Artificial heart valves.
If your child has heart-valve damage or a heart murmur:
Request antibiotics prior to medical procedures that may
introduce bacteria into the blood. These include dental work and surgery of the urinary or
- Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
- Observation of symptoms.
- Laboratory blood counts and blood cultures.
- X-rays of the heart and lungs, including 2-D Echocardiogram.
� Blood clots that may travel to the brain, kidneys or
abdominal organs, causing infections, abscesses or stroke.
� Disturbances of the Heart-rhythm (atrial fibrillation is
Usually curable with early diagnosis and treatment, but recovery may take weeks. If
treatment is delayed, heart function deteriorates, resulting in congestive heart failure
� If your child has damaged heart valves, tell his doctor
� After an episode of endocarditis, stay under a doctor's
care to prevent a relapse.
Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for many weeks to fight infection. Antibiotic
treatment is often intravenous.
Rest in bed until full recovery. While in bed, legs to be flexed, often, to prevent clots
forming in deep veins.
No special diet, unless there is an underlying heart disorder. In that case, follow a
Any symptoms of endocarditis.
The following occurs during or after treatment:
If you have a query and you are a registered user, click here.
- Weight gain without diet changes.
- Blood in the urine.
- Chest pain.
- Sudden weakness or numbness in muscles of the face, trunk or