Mother Mary hugged her son and said nervously, “Doctor, I took my child to the clinic a few days ago. The doctor there said that Tommy has a heart murmur. Why does she have a heart murmur? No one in our family has heart disease?”
Heart murmur refers to the presence of other redundant sounds in the heart in addition to heart sounds. It is common in kindergartens, lower grades of elementary school, and even newborns. Many parents are very nervous when they learn that their children have a heart murmur, fearing that their children may have heart disease.
When a heart murmur occurs, are there other signs that should be observed? What is a heart murmur? What are the types of heart murmurs? What should we pay attention to when a child has a heart murmur? Does it require treatment? Let this article help parents clear up their doubts and help them not to panic when their baby has a heart murmur! What is a heart murmur?
What is a heart murmur?
The blood of the human body is sent to the whole body through the contraction and relaxation of the heart (the beating of the heart). When the blood returns through the veins, the blood passes through various valves, enters different heart chambers, and then flows out of the heart through the large blood vessels.
During the blood flow process, if there is significant friction and vibration between the chambers, valves or blood vessels of the heart, a “heart murmur” may occur.
2 symptoms of heart murmur
Heart murmurs are very common. About 50% of infants and 70% of young children have experienced heart murmurs. Depending on the cause, heart murmurs can be divided into two types: functional heart murmurs and pathological heart murmurs:
- Functional murmurs:
Most heart murmurs fall into this category and are benign heart murmurs. Functional heart murmurs are small and short, sounding low and vibrating. Most of them are caused by colds, mood swings, and exercise. They are common in children aged 3 to 7 years old, and will gradually disappear with age.
- Pathologic murmurs:
Pathologic heart murmurs are caused by problems with the structure of the heart blood vessels themselves, such as diaphragmatic defects in the ventricles, open ductus arteriosus, and incomplete valve closure, resulting in other sounds during blood flow. Children’s The incidence rate is about 5%. This type of heart murmur has louder sounds and various types, and may include galloping, percussive or continuous murmurs.
Heart murmur ≠ heart disease, observe first and don’t worry
Although “heart murmur” may be one of the precursors of heart disease, in fact, having a heart murmur does not necessarily mean that you have a heart disease. In children, most may be short-term benign phenomena. And not every heart disease has a heart murmur, such as myocardial infarction, acute myocarditis, myocardial disease, etc., may not have a heart murmur.
Therefore, when parents face a baby with a heart murmur at home, they should comprehensively observe whether the child has gray-blue cyanosis in the color of the lips, nails, and skin, or whether the child’s vitality has deteriorated, and the color of the hands, feet, and lips has deteriorated. If you experience symptoms such as whitening or other symptoms, please consult your doctor directly. There is no need to be overly nervous.
Newborns also have heart murmurs
In addition to heart murmurs in children, some newborns may also suffer from “Peripheral pulmonary stenosis” because the branches of the pulmonary artery are not fully developed, resulting in a soft, short murmur when the heart contracts. This is a benign phenomenon, and most of them are usually in the It disappears on its own after the baby is 6 to 12 months old.
Should a heart murmur be treated? It occurs in 30% of children and gradually disappears after one year old.
In most cases, the heart murmur will disappear on its own after the baby is 6 to 12 months old. It is a benign phenomenon and does not require treatment. Parents do not need to worry too much. As long as the child’s heart structure is sound and its function is normal, there will be no problem. There is no need to restrict the child’s diet. ,Activity. But in rare cases, a heart murmur may indicate a serious structural heart problem.
Nearly 30% of children, especially those in kindergarten and lower grades of primary school, will have benign heart murmurs. However, since changes in heart murmurs are often an important basis for clinical diagnosis, it is recommended to consult a doctor and assist with heart auscultation. By confirming the “heart sounds” transmitted by the heart murmur through the earpiece, you can confirm whether the heart requires further treatment.
According to the advice of pediatric cardiologists, if parents still have concerns, they can go to the hospital’s pediatrician for consultation and arrange an examination to see if it is harmless. The doctor may use a stethoscope to make a preliminary judgment. If there is anything unclear, he or she will arrange for an in-depth examination with a cardiac ultrasound, X-ray or electrocardiogram.