Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
Heart Murmurs in
What is a heart murmur?
A heart murmur is just a noise that the blood
makes as it flows through the heart. It's like the noise water makes when it
flows through a hose. Many healthy people have heart murmurs. About 80 percent
of all children have a heart murmur at some time.
What is a "normal" heart murmur?
Most heart murmurs don't mean there is anything
wrong. Your doctor may call these murmurs "innocent" or "functional." "Normal"
is another word to describe these murmurs. A normal murmur is just a noise
caused by blood flowing through a normal heart.
A normal murmur can get louder when the blood
flows faster through the heart. For example, when the body's temperature goes
up, the blood flows faster. Doctors often hear heart murmurs when they check
children who have a fever. Many normal murmurs become hard to hear as children
grow older. Some murmurs just go away.
What does it mean if my child has a
normal heart murmur?
If your child has a normal heart murmur, he or
she can run, jump and play, with no limits on activity. Your child doesn't need
to take any medicine or be careful in any special way.
When is a heart murmur the sign of a
Sometimes a heart problem causes a murmur. For
- The heart may have a hole in it.
- A heart valve may leak.
- A heart valve may not open all the way.
If your doctor thinks that your
child might have one of these heart problems, you may be asked to take your
child to a pediatric cardiologist. This is a kind of doctor who has spent extra
time learning about children's hearts. The cardiologist will examine your child
and might do tests to find out if there is a problem.
Heart murmurs are very common in healthy
children with normal hearts. If you have any questions about your child's heart
murmur, talk to your family doctor.