Heart Murmur In Children - Everything You Need To Know

heart murmur in kids

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One of the best experiences for a mother is cuddling her child. While cuddling your child, if you hear some additional sound in the heart of your baby, you might tend to get worried. This extra sound is heart murmur. This is nothing serious, but should not be neglected either.

Heart murmur is not a disease. It is also very common for children to be diagnosed with a heart murmur at some or the other stage of their lives. Here is what you need to know about heart murmur in kids.

What Is Heart Murmur?

In order to understand the concept of heart murmur properly, we will have to know the functioning of the heart.

  • In the functioning of the heart, the occurrence of a sound due to the closing of the valves of the heart is normal. The general sound is that of a ‘lub-dub’ that occurs when the heart wrings to thrust blood through the body.
  • When the heart of your child is examined with the stethoscope, if an extra sound heard in addition to the sound of ‘lub-dub’ occurs, that is w
    hat is called a heart murmur.
  • Most of the times, these heart murmur sounds in children are the normal sounds that occur due to the movement of the blood in the heart.
  • The heart murmur may occur due to a disturbance or turbulence in the normal flow of the blood through the heart or in the surrounding blood vessels in the vicinity of the heart.
  • In very rare occasions, these indicate a signal of an impending heart problem.

[ Read: Congenital Heart Disease In Children ]

Types Of Heart Murmurs In Children:

The heart murmurs can be broadly classified into two categories:

  • Innocent Murmurs:

These murmurs are not of any serious nature and you need not be worried about visiting a doctor for frequent follow ups. These are also known as ‘functional murmurs’, and they are not due to any structural problems of the heart.

  • Other Murmurs:

These murmurs need to be dealt with seriously and an expert medical advice or a visit to a cardiologist is a must. In case, the child has had some serious heart conditions like a hole in the heart, a leaky valve of the heart, a disoriented valve, or a heart valve that is narrowed, then a murmur can be heard that calls for immediate medical attention. These murmurs are thus caused due to the structural abnormalities in the heart and point towards a serious health problem.

Diagnosing Heart Murmurs In Children:

Diagnosing childhood heart murmur would need your child to undergo a listening check up in the clinic.

  • A doctor will listen to the heartbeats by using a stethoscope on the front of the chest. This listening exercise has to be done in a calm manner, so that the doctor can hear the sounds properly.
  • The child needs to be kept calm for effective diagnosis, because an unruly child may make it difficult for the doctors to diagnose the intensity of the murmur.
  • The murmur will be rated on a scale of 1 to 6 based on their loudness or intensity.
  • Grade 1 murmur is faintly audible and grade 6 murmur is pretty loud.
  • The doctor will then try to understand the nature of the murmur. Whether the murmur is inconsistent, or occurs periodically.
  • He will try to figure out the appearance pattern of the murmur in the cycle of the heartbeat. This drafting of the pattern depends upon situations like the murmur stops or increases as the child changes position, etc.
  • Once the doctor has made the initial diagnosis, he might refer the child to a pediatric cardiologist for additional evaluation if required.

[ Read: Chest Pain In Children ]

Do not panic if your child is diagnosed with some heart murmur. Ask for expert medical opinion to iron out any signs of a serious heart problem and follow medical advice to perfection.

Hope this article cleared your doubts about child heart murmur. If you have something to say about on the same, feel free to share with us by commenting below.

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