Antibiotic Pre-Med Guidelines

In April of 2007, the American Heart Association, along with the ADA released new guidelines for antibiotic premedication of patients with certain heart conditions. The more recent guidelines do not include any changes in premedication for those patients with artificial joint replacement.

According to the ADA’s statement, these patients no longer need pre-med:

* mitral valve prolapse
* rheumatic heart disease
* bicuspid valve disease
* calcified aortic stenosis
* congenital heart conditions such as ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

The ADA says patients with the following conditions DO need to pre-medicate:

* artificial heart valves
* a history of infective endocarditis
* certain specific, serious congenital (present from birth) heart conditions
* a cardiac transplant that develops a problem in a heart valve

Are you and your practice following these “new” guidelines? It continues to be more and more important to review your patient’s medical history. There seem to be more dental links to health issues in adults. More importantly, it is another way to help your patients understand why it is important to be seen at their recommended interval. Reviewing their health history and asking “How is your overall health?” rather than “Have their been any changes since we last saw you?” may draw out more information from your patients.