Making the Cut: Perspectives on the Surgical Management of Infective Endocarditis Among People Who Use Intravenous Drugs
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In this article we review the perspectives in the literature around surgical treatment for infective endocarditis (IE) in people who use intravenous drugs (PUID). PUID are at increased risk for IE; however, controversy exists regarding how to best manage these patients. We explore the outcomes for surgical treatment in PUID with IE, contrasting these with patients with IE who do not use drugs. We describe some of the perspectives in the literature around second valve replacement for PUID with IE, arguing that moralistic arguments are not on the basis of evidence and perpetuate the stigma experienced by PUID who seek treatment for IE. Finally, we explore the role of substance use interventions in the treatment of PUID with IE, and advocate for further evidence. PUID with IE are a highly stigmatized patient subgroup for whom best practice management strategies are not always implemented, emphasizing the need for further research and advocacy.
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