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Share The baby has a heart murmur

Lola Rovati @Lolarovati

Approximately half of children have a heart murmur. As is normal, parents are very frightened when the doctor tells them that the baby has a heart murmur, but in most cases they are harmless. They are known as functional murmurs or innocent murmurs.

It is generally believed that a murmur is due to a serious disease of the heart, however, children's murmurs are called innocent murmurs because they do not affect the health of the child and can appear and disappear throughout childhood.

The murmur in the heart is a very peculiar noise that is detected when the doctor listens to the child with the stethoscope. It resembles the noise that occurs when there is a loss of air, hence the name of breath.

The noise of blood flowing through the child's heart resembles the sound of water flowing through a hose, only in the case of small children, by having their heart closer to the chest wall, it can be heard more easily .

The cause of a heart murmur is not known for sure, but to understand how it is produced you have to understand how the heart works. We see it below.

The functioning of the heart

The heart is divided into two parts: the left and the right, and in turn each is divided into two: the ventricles, the two lower cavities that pump the blood and the atria, the two upper cavities that receive the blood.

The heart has four heart valves that are located in the exit ducts of the four cavities of the heart and open in only one direction preventing the flow of blood to flow backward.

The veins carry blood to the right atrium and pass to the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve. Then it goes to the lungs to oxygenate through the pulmonary valve. It returns oxygenated to the left atrium and passes to the left ventricle through the bicuspid valve. Then the blood is pumped throughout the body through the aortic valve that connects with the aorta, the main artery of the human body responsible for transporting and distributing oxygen-rich blood to all those arteries.

However, when there is a small anomaly such as narrowing of a valve or when one of the four valves does not close completely there is a noise similar to a blow and that is when the doctor diagnoses the murmur.

The functional or innocent murmur

It is a nonpathological heart abnormality and usually disappears by itself as the child grows. In fact, the functional or innocent murmur can appear and disappear or appear in special circumstances such as when the child has a fever, when the heart rate accelerates or manifests when he is lying down and disappears when he sits down.

You can simply feel the noise of the heart, but its operation is normal and the heart is completely healthy.

It does not imply that there may not be a heart condition in the future but having a functional murmur in childhood does not increase the risk.

Most childhood murmurs are innocent, do not require any treatment and the child can make a normal life, run, jump and play without limit.

The organic puff

In some cases a murmur is the symptom of a defect in the shape of the heart, and consequently, in its function.

Reflects a heart disease caused by a cardiac anomaly or congenital heart disease. They are called organic murmurs and are permanent.

Many times, the presence of a murmur is the first sign of congenital heart disease.

Generally, although not always, are accompanied by other symptoms such as: sweating, growth problems, rapid breathing, fatigue, frequent bronchitis, the child turns purple when crying or make an effort.

If the doctor suspects a cardiac problem that could be serious from a murmur in the heart of the baby, the child will be referred to a pediatric cardiologist who will surely ask for tests to confirm the diagnosis.

More information | Spanish Society of Pediatric Cardiology and Congenital Heart DiseasesPhoto | sgs_1019In Babies and more | Manual for Parents of Children with Congenital Heart Disease, Good news from Menudos Corazones,