Heart and Blood Conditions

Endocarditis old

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    • For appointments in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way, Olympia, Tri-Cities and Wenatchee, call 206-987-2515.
    • For appointments in Tacoma and Silverdale, call 253-272-1812.
    • For appointments in Alaska, call 907-339-1945.
    • How to schedule

    If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

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  • Locations +

    • Seattle Children's Main Campus: 206-987-2515
    • Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center: 425-454-4644
    • Everett: 425-304-6080
    • South Clinic in Federal Way: 253-838-5878
    • Olympia: 360-459-5009
    • South Sound Cardiology Clinics: 253-272-1812
    • Tri-Cities (Richland): 509-946-0976
    • Wenatchee: 509-662-9266
    • Pediatric Cardiology of Alaska: 907-339-1945
    • Seattle Children's doctors provide many cardiac services at regional sites throughout the Pacific Northwest. See our complete list of Heart Center locations.

  • Refer a patient +

    • If you are a provider, fax a New Appointment Request Form (NARF) (PDF) (DOC) to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • No pre-referral work-up is required for most conditions. If you have already done testing such as an EKG, Holter monitor or echocardiogram, please fax this information as well as relevant clinic notes and the NARF to 206-985-3121 or 866-985-3121 (toll-free).
    • Your patient will be seen as quickly as possible by the provider who is the best match for managing the current problem.
    • View our complete Heart Center Referral Information (PDF).

What is endocarditis?

Endocarditis (pronounced en-doh-car-DIE-tis) is an infection of the lining inside the heart. This lining is called the endocardium.

Bacterial infection is the most common source of endocarditis. Infection happens when bacteria enter the bloodstream, attach to the inside of the heart and multiply. This can damage or even destroy the heart valves.

A normal heart has a smooth lining that is difficult for bacteria to stick to. Congenital heart disease sometimes causes rough areas on the heart lining or other changes that make it easier for bacteria to stick to the heart lining or valves. If bacteria stick, they can survive and multiply, which can cause endocarditis.

Bacterial endocarditis is always a serious infection.

Endocarditis in Children

Endocarditis is uncommon, but it's more likely to happen in children with heart problems. This includes children who were born with heart defects or who have damaged heart valves, artificial heart valves or devices implanted in their heart or blood vessels.

It is extremely rare, but possible, for children with normal hearts to get endocarditis.

Endocarditis at Seattle Children's

Our heart team has treated many children with endocarditis. We have extensive experience with the treatment your child may require, including medicines and heart valve repair. We also have infectious disease specialists who help to choose the most appropriate therapy for the infection. We also have a pediatric cardiac anesthesia team and a specialized cardiac intensive care unit in case your child needs heart surgery or intensive care during their illness.

When you come to Children's, a team of people will take care of your child. Along with your child's cardiologist, you are connected with infectious disease specialists, nurses, child life specialists, social workers and others, if their expertise is needed. We work together to meet all of your child's health needs and help your family through this experience.

Seattle Children's has been treating children since 1907. Our team members are trained in their fields and also in meeting the unique needs of children. For example, the doctors who give your child anesthesia are board certified in pediatric anesthesiology. This means they have extra years of training in how to take care of kids. Our child life specialists know how to help children understand their illnesses and treatments in ways that make sense for their age.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.