Information for Patients
Heart Valve Diseases
Your heart has four valves. Normally, these valves open to let blood flow through or out of your heart, and then shut to keep it from flowing backward. But sometimes they don't work properly. If they don't, you could have
- Regurgitation - when blood leaks back through the valve in the wrong direction
- Mitral valve prolapse - when one of the valves, the mitral valve, has "floppy" flaps and doesn't close tightly. It's one of the most common heart valve conditions. Sometimes it causes regurgitation.
- Stenosis - when the valve doesn't open enough and blocks blood flow
Valve problems can be present at birth or caused by infections, heart attacks, or heart disease or damage. The main sign of heart valve disease is an unusual heartbeat sound called a heart murmur. Your doctor can hear a heart murmur with a stethoscope. But many people have heart murmurs without having a problem. Heart tests can show if you have a heart valve disease. Some valve problems are minor and do not need treatment. Others might require medicine, medical procedures, or surgery to repair or replace the valve.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Strep is short for Streptococcus, a type of bacteria. There are several types. Two of them cause most of the strep infections in people: group A and group B.
Group A strep causes
- Strep throat - a sore, red throat. Your tonsils may be swollen and have white spots on them.
- Scarlet fever - an illness that follows strep throat. It causes a red rash on the body.
- Impetigo - a skin infection
- Toxic shock syndrome
- Cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease)
Group B strep can cause blood infections, pneumonia and meningitis in newborns. A screening test during pregnancy can tell if you have it. If you do, intravenous (IV) antibiotics during labor can save your baby's life. Adults can also get group B strep infections, especially if they are 65 or older or already have health problems. Strep B can cause urinary tract infections, blood infections, skin infections and pneumonia in adults.
Antibiotics are used to treat strep infections.