How Do Doctors Treat Staph On The Heart Valve?
If you’ve ever heard of endocarditis, you probably wonder how do doctors treat staph on a heart valve. There are actually two forms of endocarditis. Acute endocarditis is the type generally caused by staphylococcus, while subacute endocarditis is usually caused by a form of streptococci. Acute endocarditis, usually being staph on a heart valve, is far more dangerous, and more likely to be fatal.
- When a diagnosis of endocarditis is made, the most common treatment is a four to six week regimen of antibiotic treatments. Some patients with subacute endocarditis are allowed to treat themselves at home, but most cases require hospitalization. (This is almost always true of patients with staph on a heart valve.) This allows the antibiotic treatment to be given intravenously (though a vein) and for the patient’s progress to be monitored.
- If antibiotics aren’t enough to cure a patient’s endocarditis, which can happen in cases of staph on a heart valve as well as other forms, surgical options are considered. The cases where the heart valve is most likely to be removed are when damage has caused a back flow of blood leading to heart failure; when valve dysfunction persists after antibiotics, when abnormal growths of organisms are clinging to a heart valve, or when endocarditis is caused by a fungus.
- About 90 percent of patients with bacterial endocarditis recover. This would include those with staph on a heart valve. Those with endocarditis caused by fungus have a lower survival rate. Though fairly rare, endocarditis can be dangerous, and those with known heart trouble should be especially aware. Prevention can be as simple as taking an antibiotic or using an antibacterial mouth rinse before having dental or medical procedures (one way to get staph on a heart valve is by staph entering the body during invasive procedures). It can also be as complicated as overcoming an addiction to intravenous drug use. (The most dangerous cases often involve dirty drug paraphernalia.) While endocarditis is not something most need to worry about, it is always good to know the risks.