Innocent Heart Murmur

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Many parents fear the worst when their child is diagnosed with a heart murmur, but this diagnosis is actually extremely common. Most murmurs are not a cause for concern and do not affect the childs health at all. Dr. Edward Hill takes a look at childrens heart murmurs in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

A murmur is the sound of blood flowing through the heart and the large blood vessels that carry the blood through the body.

Murmurs can be a sign of a congenital heart defect or provide clues to illnesses that start elsewhere in the body and make the heart work harder.

In children, murmurs are often harmless and are just the sound of a heart working normally. These harmless murmurs are often called innocent or functional murmurs. They are found in children aged 3 to 7 years.

Murmurs are easily heard in children because they have thin chests and the heart is closer to the stethoscope. When children have fevers or are scared, their hearts beat faster and murmurs can become even louder than usual.

There are several types of functional murmurs:

Still murmur is usually heard at the left side of the sternum.

Pulmonic murmur is heard as blood flows into the pulmonary artery.

Venous hum is heard as blood flows into the jugular veins.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.