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Health Line

Some people with heart – valve conditions do not receive the antibiotics recommended to prevent life–threatening infections, while others receive these antibiotics when they do not need them, US researchers have found.

Patients with certain heart conditions are at risk for bacterial endocarditis – a life-threatening heart infection – if bacteria enter their blood. Any type of surgery or even a dental cleaning can put them at risk, and antibiotics are recommended before such procedures.

Dr.Warren J.Manning of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues survived 218 heart patients as recommended by the American Heart Association to prevent infection. The researchers deemed 108 of the patients to be at high or moderate risk for endocarditis,an infection of the lining of the heart. Patients most at risk are those who had surgery to repair the valves of the heart, or have abnormalities of the heart valves, Manning explained.

While most of the high-risk patients (almost 90%) were advised about taking antibiotics, only 61% of those at moderate risk received the same information. This means that almost 40% of moderate-risk patients have an increased chance of developing endocarditis afte4r surgery or dental procedures, he said.

Of the 110 negligible risk patients, more than 26% were told to take the antibiotics, which in their case is unnecessary, Manning said. Not only are unnecessary antibiotics expensive, but they place people at risk for side effects from these drugs, which can be dangerous, Manning said.

(As reported in The Hindu Business Lines)

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