Citation Information :
Elghazawy RK, Shams KA, Wassel MO. Prevention of Infective Endocarditis of Oral Origin in Children: A Call for Pediatric Dentists–Pediatric Cardiologists’ Collaboration in Egypt. J Contemp Dent Pract 2021; 22 (12):1444-1450.
Aim: To assess knowledge and practices of some Egyptian pediatric dentists and pediatric cardiologists/cardiac surgeons regarding prevention of infective endocarditis (IE) from oral origin in children.
Materials and methods: Pediatric dentists or pediatric cardiologists/cardiac surgeons having their practice in Egypt were conveniently selected. An online questionnaire was constructed for each specialty practitioner in English using a web-based platform. Each survey tool collected data about demographics, knowledge, and practices concerning the prevention of IE of oral origin. Surveys were disseminated to potential respondents using direct messaging or posting surveys’ links on high-traffic areas (blogs, groups, or pages) of commonly known social media platforms.
Results: Two-hundred and thirty-nine pediatric dentists and 71 pediatric cardiologists/cardiac surgeons’ responses were included in analysis. Some shortage in oral health knowledge and deviations in management protocol from known guidelines were evident in cardiologists’ responses, whereas 66.2 and 64.8% reported encountering IE of oral origin or canceling a cardiac surgery due to oral infection, respectively. Most pediatric dentists (65.7%) rely on physician referral before managing children at risk of IE despite following recognized guidelines for IE prevention which may reflect difficulty in understanding such guidelines. Ninety percent of children with heart diseases visit a dentist due to oral complaint and not for checkup.
Conclusion: Identification of disparities and pitfalls in management of children with heart diseases, if appropriately addressed by pediatric dentists and cardiologists, may reduce the risk of IE from an oral origin.
Clinical significance: Health education of both specialists and development of national guidelines based on national epidemiology and clinical experience of cardiologists are strongly needed to decrease oral disease burden, allow for a consensus of patient management, and minimize the need for cross-referral, thus facilitating dental management without undue delays.
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