Heart murmurs in babies are abnormal sounds made by the heart. In most cases, heart murmur is not an illness or symptom of some other medical disease or condition and parents shouldn’t worry about it.
Heart murmur is the pattern of the heart beating, as simple as that. It usually resembles lub dub sound, caused by the blood, when it flows in and out of the heart. Doctors will describe the sound as lub dub and swish. This sound is perfectly normal, babies’ heart is changing after the birth, the circulation is changing also and that’s what causing the noise in the heart.
Most of the time the swishing sound is normal condition, but rarely, the sounds might be caused by some heart problems.
Heart Murmurs Causes in Newborns
The murmur heart sounds in babies might be: innocent, congenital or caused by some heart imperfection.
Innocent murmuring sounds (or sometimes called also functional murmur) have no specific symptoms, and little patients experience just those unusual heart sounds. This is the most common of all heart murmur causes in newborns and children, and is responsible for almost 90% of all recorded murmuring sounds in kids. Innocent murmur is not something that requires a medical treatment, because it is not a threat to child’s health.
Congenital murmuring is quite rare. This is a severe medical condition and is usually a symptom of another heart related problem. The symptoms of congenital murmur include: feeding and breathing difficulties and chest infections. One of every 100 babies has this type of murmuring, and the risk is especially high if mother drank or suffered from German measles or diabetes in pregnancy. Suspecting on congenital murmuring, specialist might perform chest X ray, echocardiogram or electrocardiogram (ECG) to confirm the diagnosis.
Heart defects are also the cause of heart murmuring sounds in babies. There is a structural problem in the baby’s heart, usually in the valves, septums (the heart walls) or in the muscles of the heart. Sometimes, holes in the wall of the heart cause septal defects, it leads to additional blood flow into the heart and that flow is causing the murmuring sound. A heart muscle problem, known as cardiomyopathy, might also affect the heart function and cause murmur.
Heart Murmuring Treatment
Some types of murmurs (such as functional and innocent murmuring) mentioned above do not need to be treated. If the diagnose of heart murmur is a congenital murmur and heart defect, parents should consult a pediatric cardiologist. He/she will suggest the proper treatment for the child, according to the symptoms of the problem. The usual treatment is the use of certain medications and surgical procedure, in order to repair the heart problem.