Infective Endocarditis

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Infective endocarditis is the inflammation of the damaged parts of the heart due to an infection usually from elsewhere in the body. In this disease the endocardium (the inner lining of the heart) is inflamed and can lead to damaged heart valves and to other life-threatening complications. William Osler was the first one to recognize this disease and gave a name to it in 1885 in his Gulstonian lectures.
When a patient’s heart has a defect or a part that is not as strong as the rest then that part is susceptible to infective endocarditis. This tends to come from blood flowing from a higher pressure area in the heart to a lower pressured area. This causes an ‘indention’ in the heart’s endocardium that collects deposits. When patients have bacteremia, the presence of infectious bacteria in the blood, the bacteria often fall into these ‘indentions’ and start to collect. Once they have started to collect they will multiply and are called vegetation.
Once vegetation happens there is an increased risk of having an abnormal alignment in the valve that the vegetation is around. This can cause a decreased blood flow or even a blocked valve. This may cause emboli to escape from the heart and head to other sections of the body (i.e. the lungs or the brain) depending which valve is being effected. Different ways that the bacteria can get in the blood are: dental procedures, skin rashes, infections, abscesses, invasive procedures, and surgeries.
The nursing process should be
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