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After your condition has stabilized, you can probably go home where you may continue to receive antibiotic treatment. You may have a central venous catheter, such as a PICC line, that gives you antibiotics into a vein. A home health nurse will help with these medicines. The nurse will teach you how to give yourself the antibiotics and how to care for your catheter.
Be sure to tell your doctor if symptoms, such as a fever or chills, return or if you have any new symptoms.
If you have a normal heart and valve structure, you have a low risk for endocarditis. But if you have a problem with your heart that affects normal blood flow, it increases the likelihood that bacteria or fungi will attach to heart tissue. This puts you at a higher risk for endocarditis.
If you have certain heart conditions, getting endocarditis is even more dangerous for you. These heart conditions include:
If you have any of these heart conditions, you may need to take antibiotics before you have certain dental or surgical procedures that could put bacteria or fungi into your blood. The antibiotics lower your risk of getting endocarditis.
Your doctor can give you a card to carry in your wallet. It states that you may need preventive antibiotics before certain procedures.
If you are at increased risk for endocarditis, practice good oral hygiene. Floss your teeth daily, and visit a dentist twice each year. For more information, see the topic Gum Disease.
Also, if you have conditions such as an HIV infection that weaken your ability to fight disease, you are at greater risk.
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