The heart has the important job of distributing blood throughout the body. While you typically cannot hear the heart working, there are times when blood can be heard swirling in the heart. This is known as a heart murmur. It is very common for newborn babies to have heart murmurs, which can create a lot of fears for the parents. These are the most important things you need to know about heart murmurs in newborns.
How Is It Diagnosed?
The doctor will be able to diagnose a heart murmur by listening to your child’s chest with a stethoscope. They will likely have to check several spots on the chest to get an accurate diagnosis. It is easiest to diagnose this condition when the baby is not making any noise because the murmurs are very quiet. Once a heart murmur is found, the doctor will grade it based on the volume. A few imaging tests of the heart may also be done.
Is It Dangerous?
There are two distinct types of heart murmurs in newborns. Innocent heart murmurs are completely safe. Some babies are just born with a strong heart that makes a little noise when pumping blood. Most innocent heart murmurs eventually go away as your child gets older.
There is also a chance that the murmur is caused by a congenital heart defect. This occurs when there is a structural problem in your newborn’s heart. This is far less common than innocent heart murmurs. There is a chance that this heart defect will cause your child to experience a few other troubling symptoms. Catching the problem shortly after birth will make treatment much easier.
How Is It Treated?
Since they will not cause any issues, innocent heart murmurs require no treatment. You will not have to change anything about your child’s life when they have an innocent heart murmur. If the extra noises are caused by a heart defect, then you will need to get the issue treated by a medical professional. The form of treatment used will ultimately be determined by a variety of different factors including your child’s age and the severity of the issue. Medications and surgery are the most common forms of treatment for a dangerous murmur.