How Policy Gaps Fail People Who Inject Drugs and Contract Endocarditis

surgeons operating

Recent media reports suggest that healthcare providers around the country are grappling with how to respond to rising rates of endocarditis, a life-threatening infection caused by bacteria that enter the bloodstream and settle in the heart, linked to people who inject drugs. Reports in the New York Times and NPR describe the dilemma faced by physicians called on to perform repeat costly heart surgeries on patients who were re-infected with endocarditis as a result of ongoing illicit drug use.