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A 43-year-old member asked:

why are iv drug users more susceptible to endocarditis?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Thompson
Pediatric Cardiology 27 years experience
Bacteria in blood: One's skin is a normal barrier to infection. Iv drug users break the skin frequently. In addition, if the needles and/or skin are dirty, bacteria can be injected directly into the blood stream and get to the heart. Also, IV drug users often have compromised immunity.
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Dirty/reused needles: When you are more focused on getting the drug into your vein than the equipment you use it increases your risk. Drug addicts pay little attention to sanitizing the skin and using germ free needles to inject the drug. Anytime a germ has a chance to enter your body through poor hygiene you may develop endocarditis.
Dr. Pierrette Mimi Poinsett
Pediatrics 38 years experience
The drug injected may also contain bacteria.
Feb 22, 2017
Dr. James Thompson
Pediatric Cardiology 27 years experience
Dirty needles: Endocarditis is more likely to occur when there are a lot of bacteria in the blood stream. Iv drug abusers break their skin frequently; the skin acts as a normal barrier to infection. Also, if sterile technique is not used (which it rarely is), bacteria are introduced directly into the blood stream. In addition, the immune system of drug addicts is often compromised.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

What causes endocarditis?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Bacteria + Fungi: A number of microorganisms can cause endocarditis, especially on the valves of the heart. These occur more commonly on deformed valves. Iv drug use may cause endocarditis from injected organisms. Non-infectious endocarditis can occur from autoimmune disorders.
A 21-year-old member asked:

What are the symptoms of endocarditis?

3 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Bracho
Dr. David Brachoanswered
General Practice 9 years experience
Fever, rash, others: Endocarditis (infectious) is when the heart and heart valves become colonized by bacteria. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, small hemorrhages under the finger nails, and tender left flank from spleen enlargement. Along with these and most diagnostic are the presence of abnormal heart signs or murmurs.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Who is at risk for endocarditis?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gamal Boutros
Neurology 39 years experience
Endocarditis risk: Heart valve disease, IV drug abuse, central IV line, dental surgery.
A 21-year-old member asked:

How is endocarditis diagnosed?

4 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pedro Hernandez
Geriatrics 40 years experience
Fever, murmur: It is difficult to know for sure some times but if there is fever with elevated sedimentation rate with a positive blood clture in a patient with a murmur an abnormal heart valve which may or may not cause congestive heart failure. An echocardiogram. May show the vegetations in the valve. The history helps...Most common in HIV patients IV drug users, or elderly pts.
A 21-year-old member asked:

How long doesendocarditistake to become irreversible?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. George Klauber
Specializes in Pediatric Urology
Variable: Usually after bacterial growths have developed on the heart valves so they can no longer work efficiently.

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Last updated Nov 28, 2017

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