Originally posted by freespirit
I just found out that my 10 year old has a heart murmur.My husdand says that I am overreacting. I cann't help it.
Without more details its hard to speculate as to what is causing it. There a few things that could be the source of the murmur.
A murmur is caused by turbulent bloodflow. Some can be loud enough to be heard without a stethescope as described above.
The heart consists of four chambers (two on the left, two on the right), the top chamber is called an atrium, the bottom chamber the ventricle. The
blood flows between the chambers through valves that will open and close based on pressure gradients within the heart and lungs. The right side of the
heart pumps blood with low levels of oxygen to the lungs where it then flows to the left side of heart where it repeats the cycle and is pumped out to
the body. All things being equal, the left side of the heart operates at a much higher pressure than the left. Blood flow is as follows, Right Atrium
to Right Ventricle, Right Ventricle to lungs, lungs to Left Atrium, Left Atrium to Left Ventricle, Left Ventricle out the aorta to the body.
One of the more common causes in children involves an atrial septal defect or a hole between the two upper chambers of the heart.
The biggest culprit in murmurs being discovered in children (and not picked up early) is the failure of the Foramen Ovale to close after birth. The
Foramen Ovale is used to bypass the lungs while the child is developing during pregancy. The placenta gets all the oxygen it needs from the mother and
since the fluid filled lungs offer high resistance, the blood flow for the most part shunts
from the right atrium to the left atrium and
bypasses the right ventricle and the lungs. It does this through the foramen ovale. At birth, without getting into alot of detail, the pressures ont
he right side of the heart drop and the left side increases. This change in pressure causes a flap of skin to seal shut against the foramen ovale
which in most cases eventualy fuse shut. The much higher pressures in the left side keep the flap sealed untill this happens.
However, in some people this does not occur. Most will never know. However, what we see is sometimes a kid will get sick with a pneumonia. The mucus
and fluid in the lungs increases the pulmonary blood pressure thus increasing the pressures on the right side of the heart. This can cause the flap to
pop back open and shunt blood back through the foramen ovale.
This is but one thing that cause a previously un-diagnosed murmur to occur. It may have never been there for the doctor to pick up
I do not think you are over-reacting, However, if the murmur was severe and causing adverse effects on your daughter, they would have told you. Many
cases I have seen are just monitored. However, you should make sure that your MD has explained the particulars of your childs case to you are THEY are
[edit on 11/23/05 by FredT]