Heart Murmur in Babies- Causes and Symptoms

Heart Murmur in Babies- Causes and Symptoms

A heart murmur sounds like a whooshing, blowing or rasping sound between the beats. Unlike the thumping ‘lub-dub’ sound, a heart murmur is significantly different with a higher or lower frequency. Heart murmurs can also be prominent enough to make the lub-dub unidentifiable, making it tough to determine when lub ended, when dub started, and vice-versa.

The heart beats rhythmically, which provide it the characteristic lub-dub sound. Generally, you will not hear anything between the beats. But sometimes, there is an extra noise, referred to as a heart murmur.

What Is A Heart Murmur In Babies?

Heart murmurs are the unusual heart noises that happen between the ‘lub’ and ‘dub’ sounds.

The heart has two sections -the top atria and the bottom ventricles. Each section is split into two chambers called the left chamber and right chamber. The blood enters the heart via the atria and is pumped out of the heart via the ventricles.

Are Heart Murmurs In Babies Unusual?

Heart murmurs are quite general and mostly usual, which means that they do not necessarily show a problem.

These heart murmurs do not pose a threat since they originate from the regular contraction of the heart muscles, valves, and the flow of blood within the heart. Babies or toddlers with innocent heart murmurs are healthy and require no medical attention. About 85% of babies have innocent heart murmurs that go away as they grow.

What Are The Symptoms Of Problematic Heart Murmurs In Babies?

The following symptoms could show problems in the heart that cause heart murmurs in the baby –

  • Chronic fatigue and lethargy. Older infants and toddlers will find it difficult to concentrate at play.
  • Rapid and labored breathing.
  • An inexplicable cough without cold and flu.
  • Reduced appetite and eating, or weight gain.
  • Older toddlers may often complain about chest pain.
  • Swelling in lower legs, belly, or veins of the neck.
  • Bluish skin, which is medically called cyanosis.

What Are The Causes Of A Heart Murmur?

The following are the most common causes of heart murmurs in babies and toddlers:

Stenosis – Stenosis is the narrowing down of a blood vessel, tube or duct in the heart. The type and name of the stenosis affect the child depends on the site of occurrence.

Congenital heart defects- Pediatric specialist state that about one in 100 infants is born with a structural defect in the heart. A general heart defect in children is the ventricular septal defect or a hole in the ventricular septum, which is a layer of tissue separating the right ventricle from the left one.

Valve regurgitation- In this situation, the valves of the heart do not close totally. It causes a small amount of blood to trickle backwards, which can reason complications including heart murmur.

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