How infective endocarditis deaths among UK dental patients can be avoided

Doctors have warned of devastating consequences of not giving antibiotics to those at risk of the heart condition. A co-author of a Lancet paper on the subject explains

Vulnerable Britons dying as not being given antibiotics at dentist, doctors say

Unfortunately for those at high risk, the effects of developing infective endocarditis (IE) after invasive dental procedures not covered by antibiotic prophylaxis can be devastating for them and their families.

Not all patients at high risk of endocarditis are old; many are young with young families. Despite being at high risk, most such patients live full and active lives, and the sudden onset of severe illness and urgent hospitalisation with IE comes completely unexpectedly and out of the blue.

Martin Thornhill is professor of translational research in dentistry at Sheffield University

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