The Risks Of Smooching A Heart Valve Patient?
When I receive a patient or caregiver question that is unique and interesting, trust me… you are the first to read about it.
For example: This morning, I woke up, gave Robyn (my wife) a kiss as she left for work, made a cup of coffee and then turned on my computer. Among all the spam emails that I quickly deleted, there was a question from Bhupinder about kissing heart valve patients.
Bhupinder’s question was, “Hi Adam, Is there any risk to kiss or to smooch a heart valve patient? Please advise. Thanks! Bhupinder”
First, I had to chuckle a bit… Why?
Well. There are certain words in the English language that I thoroughly enjoy. And yes, you guessed it, “smooch” is one of those words. I don’t know why. There is something so honest, so innocent, so traditional and so cuddly about the word, smooch. That said, when I actually saw “smooch” in an email about heart surgery, I let out a “He.. He… He…”
Now, as for an answer to the question, I believe the answer is no. From what I understand, there is no risk to smooch or kiss a heart valve patient. Heart valve disease is not contagious or transmitted through human contact. While there are certain, medical terms associated with heart valve disease that suggest potential risks (e.g. bacterial endocarditis infection), they are only medical terms. They are not infectious in the sense that we might think of the common cold.
I hope that helps you understand more about kissing, smooching and heart valve patients.
Keep on tickin!
Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.