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This infection is usually treated with strong antibiotics ‐ medicines that fight germs like bacteria.

Endocarditis Treatment Options

Your child might need to stay in the hospital for a while and get antibiotics through a vein (intravenously, or by IV). Antibiotic treatment usually lasts four or six weeks. If your child is responding well to the IV antibiotics, your child may be able to finish IV antibiotic treatment at home. If the infection does not respond well enough to antibiotics, or if valve damage is severe, surgery may be necessary.

Preventive Steps

Certain people are at risk for endocarditis. These include:

  • Children who were born with heart defects
  • People who have mechanical heart valves or cyanosis
  • People who have had heart surgery within the past six months
  • People who have had endocarditis before

Talk with your doctor about whether your child needs to take any special steps for prevention.

Take special care of your child’s mouth and teeth.

  • The mouth is one of the most common sources of bacteria that cause endocarditis. Taking good care of the teeth and gums is the most important step everyone can take to prevent endocarditis. Children at the highest risk of endocarditis are also advised to take antibiotics before having dental work.

Watch for fever and illness.

  • If your child is known to be at risk for endocarditis and they become ill with a sudden high fever or have a low- grade fever and tiredness for more than five days, they should see the doctor.

The best way to prevent complications from endocarditis is to have the diagnosis made as early as possible so that treatment can be started before the infection causes serious damage to the heart.

Contact Us

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

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

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Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)