New York Times Looks at Repeated Endocarditis among Patients with Substance Use Disorders

May 2, 2018 | Strategic Insights for Health System


The treatment of intravenous (IV) drug users who present with repeated endocarditis is receiving national attention, as evidenced by an in-depth article published April 28, 2018, in the New York Times. An HRC member asked about policies related to valve replacement surgeries in this population in the April 2, 2018, edition of Ask HRC. The opioid crisis and the resurgence of methamphetamine use have brought about an increase in the number of patients presenting with endocarditis. Doctors who previously encountered endocarditis only occasionally are now wondering what to do when patients present multiple times with the condition, the article said. Treatment for endocarditis is expensive and involves six weeks of IV antibiotics. Doctors are wary of sending many of these patients home with IV lines, the article said, fearing they will use them for nonmedical use of drugs.

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