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How dangerous are heart murmurs?

My baby was diagnosed with a heart murmur. Should I be worried?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

Pediatricians often detect heart murmurs (a swirling or whooshing sound heard between the heartbeats) in young children, but many murmurs are not serious. If your pediatrician detects a murmur, he may refer you to a cardiologist to be certain, since it can sometimes be hard to pick up on the differences between an innocent murmur, which is a normal sound, and a more serious one, which can indicate your baby was born with an abnormality in his heart. But even if a congenital heart defect is found, you should know that most are not life-threatening and don't require invasive surgery to repair. In fact, some, like a ventricular septal defect (or VSD, which is a hole in the tissue between the heart's right and left sides) tend to go away on their own as the child grows.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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