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My child has a heart murmur

Heart murmurs are a common finding in children. They are not necessarily always present. They are usually heard or get louder when a child is unwell. Normal heart sounds are ‘lub’ and ‘dub’. Sometimes doctors could hear an extra noise between these heart sounds, when they listen with their stethoscopes and this may sound like ‘lub...ssshhhh...dub’. This extra noise is called a murmur. This could happen while a heart is contracting or relaxing. In some children, while this could be because of a heart defect like a hole in the heart or a narrow heart valve, in majority of children this is simply due to the blood flow and in this case this is described as ‘Innocent flow murmur’. They usually disappear as they grow up. Whilst a scan of the heart, Echocardiogram, could confirm whether the murmur is innocent or not, this is not always necessary.

Seek advice, if:

  1. Difficulty in breathing

  2. Getting tired easily after exercise

  3. Poor weight gain

  4. Child has blue lips or tongue

  5. Family h/o congenital heart problems

  6. Dizziness, fainting, chest pain

Read further:

  1. 1. Congenital & Children’s Heart Centre

  2. 2. Children’s Heart Federation

  3. 3. British Heart Foundation (Download)

  4. 4. American Heart Association