Hear Dr. Steven Ritz, a pediatric cardiologist at the Nemours Cardiac Center, explain heart murmurs in children.
A heart murmur is an abnormal sound (like a blowing or whooshing) that’s usually detected by a doctor who’s listening to the heart with a stethoscope during a routine examination.
To determine whether a heart murmur in a child is due to a heart defect, our Nemours Cardiac Center physicians (at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del.) often use an echocardiogram (or “echo,” for short). An echo is a completely safe and painless test that uses ultrasound (sound waves) to build a series of pictures of the heart.
Heart murmurs in children are very common. They may be “innocent murmurs” (also called “benign murmurs”), which are harmless and found in an otherwise healthy heart. Other heart murmurs may indicate a structural abnormality that may or may not be serious. Most heart murmurs in children are harmless. Nemours Cardiac Center experts are trained to know the difference. And if a heart murmur is caused by a heart defect, we're here to quickly diagnose and treat the underlying problem as soon as possible.
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