Causes And Treatment Of Infective Endocarditis

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Before discussing Infective Endocarditis, it’s imperative to understand where the endocardium is along with its function because endocarditis affects this area of the heart. The Endocardium is the innermost layer of heart tissue that lines the cavities and valves of the heart and is composed of loose epithelial and connective tissue. The endocardium regulates contractions of the heart and helps regulate the composition of the blood that feeds the tissues of the heart (Kenney, 2015). Infective Endocarditis, IE, is an infection of the endocardium that generally occurs when bacteria or germs from another part of the body, such as the mouth, spread through the bloodstream and attach to damaged areas in the heart (Endocarditis Definition, 2015). Individuals that have an increased risk of developing Endocarditis include: • Those with Pacemakers or Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) • Individuals with existing conditions of the heart valves • HIV (What Increases Your Risk of Endocarditis?, 2015). • Diabetes Mellitus and long term hemodialysis (Infective endocarditis in adults, 2001). According to the American Heart Association, endocarditis affects twice as many men as women and eight times as many older men as older woman. More than a quarter of all cases occur in individuals that are older than 60 years of age (Heart Valves and Infective Endocarditis, 2014). In the United States alone, national data indicated that in 2009 there were up to 28,000 hospital
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