What is the emergency department (ED) treatment of infective endocarditis (IE)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: John L Brusch, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

In most cases, the etiologic microbial agent is not known while the patient is in the ED. Three sets of blood cultures should be drawn over a few hours, and then empiric antibiotic therapy tailored to the patient’s history and circumstances may be administered (see Antibiotic Therapy, below).

No special diets are recommended for patients with endocarditis; however, if the patient has congestive heart failure, administer a sodium-restricted diet. Activity limitations are determined by the severity of the illness, complications (eg, stroke), and the presence of significant congestive heart failure.

Mild congestive heart failure resulting from valvular insufficiency or myocarditis may be managed with standard medical therapy. Often, this is progressive, and despite achieving a microbiological cure, it requires valvular surgery.


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