The patient was a 41-year old female with a history of mitral valve prolapse. She was...

The patient was a 41-year old female with a history of mitral valve prolapse. She was admitted with a chief complaint of intermittent fevers for 1 month and headaches for 3 weeks. Two weeks prior to developing symptoms, she had undergone a dental procedure for which she took prophylactic erythromycin (she was penicillin allergic). She had no skin lesions or hemorrhage in the nail beds. All four blood cultures performed on admissions were positive for gram-positive cocci in chains.  

  1. 1) What is your diagnosis? Which organs often become secondarily infected in this infection? What are septic emboli, and what role do they have in these secondary infections?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

1. The female must be suffering from Streptococcal infection. Strepto cocci are Gram positive bacteria and form chains as we can see in this infection. The bacteria in blood can cause many diseases such as sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis etc. These bacteria can move to other parts of the body such as heart, joints, brain etc and can be life threatening.

A blood clot formed by the infective bacteria detach and move to another part of the body and can cause infection in these organs. The blood clot formed will block the arteries and can lead to ischemia ( blockage of arteries reduces blood supply to the organ) and also can cause infection in the secondary organs . Such infections are life threatening if they occur in vital organs like brain and heart.

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