Patients who still carry recalled St. Jude Defibrillators leads in their chests have many reasons to be wary. This is another one that needs to be watched. Left untreated, endocarditis is always fatal.
Patients suffering from the condition may experience:
- High fever;
- New or different heart murmur;
- Muscle pain;
- Small spots from broken blood vessels under the nails, on the whites of the eyes, on the chest, in the roof of the mouth and inside the cheeks;
- Chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing;
- Night sweats;
- Blood in the urine; or
- Unexpected weight loss.
In previous studies, endocarditis has been linked to intravenous drug abuse, dental infections and surgical procedures. Having had heart surgery, including a pacemaker implant has long been recognized as increasing a patient’s risk for the condition. The infectious agent in most of the occurrences is streptococcal or staphylococcal bacteria or fungi, but for the most part, infections may be traced to a single source.
The studies of endocarditis in patients with premature insulation failure in recalled St. Jude Medical Riata defibrillator (ICD) leads shows something different. Polymicrobial endocarditis arises from several infectious agents.
READ MORE RECALLED ST. JUDE MEDICAL RIATA DEFIBRILLATOR (ICD) LEADS LEGAL NEWS
The study that advances this theory notes that, “The externalization of Riata lead may cause the malfunction but it could also promote bacterial colonies and vegetations. In conclusion, looking for early signs of infection is mandatory during Riata leads follow-up checks.”