Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
VSD Question for Newborn Daughter
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VSD Question for Newborn Daughter

Our daughter was diagnosed with a VSD when she was 4 days old. We were not told the diameters of the hole, just that it "wasn't huge, but not tiny either", and that no other abnormalities were noted. The doctors noted a loud murmur, heard easily all over her chest. She was quite small, being 5 lbs 15 oz, full term. Otherwise is doing great, gaining weight, good color. However, what I'm wondering, while her color is good and she's gaining weight, I do notice that she has occassionally gotten sweaty, her feet are often cool, and that she very often seems to be breathing fast. She's currently 12 days old, I know that newborns do have erratic breathing patterns, but she often seems to be breathing fast. Several people have commented on it.
What I'm wondering is is this a sign that she is more likely to require treatment for her VSD? We don't see the pediatrician until she's 1 month old, and the cardiologist until she's 3-4 months old.
Also, do we need to be more cautious about allowing people who might be sick around her? Is she at any increased risk for infection or complications from colds, flus etc?
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773655_tn?1340656399
Ventricular septal defects do come in all shapes and sizes.  I assume that an echocardiogram was performed to make this diagnosis, since it sounds like you were advised that the hole was probably moderate in size.  VSDs can occur alone or in combination with other congenital heart anomalies, so it is important to know if there are other abnormal findings.  Of particular importance is to make sure that the aortic arch was felt to be unobstructed.  Your pediatrician should be consulted soon to both review the report with you, and to examine your daughter if you have concerns about her rate of breathing.  In general, if children with VSDs are feeding well and gaining weight, then that is a sign that the heart is not overworked. I would definitely advise that she not be exposed to people with intercurrent illnesses.  Children with larger VSDs can more easily develop problems if they become sick.
6 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
She's gaining weight and eating well, but eats ALL the time. Almost on an hourly basis, the longest she goes is about 2 hours. Is this normal, or could this be a problem?
We did have an echo done, and they advised that (after a quick check) they didn't see any signs of other heart problems, but I also know that we didn't get the full report, as we were primarily there just to see if there was a hole, and they said the full report would follow later.
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999780_tn?1263675571
Our son was diagnosed with a few heart problems when he was 8 weeks old.Aortic stenosis,abnormal mitral valve.He had one emergency surgery at 8 weeks and then another emergency surgery at 3 months to repair the aortic arch.Before he was diagnosed he was feeding well and gaining weight well too.He was gaining a pound a week.If you think at all that there is something up with your child please go to the dr.With the heart you cannot take anything lightly.Our son also sweated a lot and still does.He also ate a lot too and they said that it was because he couldn't eat so much a t a time and he got tired so easily which we never knew.As a mom if you notice anything out of the ordinary to your child please rather be safe than sorry.On several occasions I have noticed things with my son and most of the times I have been right.He does tend to get sick a lot more and we are still trying to figure out why.If you want to talk please feel free to contact me.
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773655_tn?1340656399
If the echo was a complete one, and noted no other cardiac abnormalities aside fro the VSD, then that is good news.  The fact that the child eats frequently but still gains weight is very non-specific.  If you have concerns, please speak with your child's physician and have the baby checked out.
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Avatar_f_tn
My son had a large VSD when he was born, he wasn't eating on his own at all we would have to wake him up and even with that he could only have enough energy to eat 1 ounce and it would take him about 10 minutes to do. he was HUGE at birth 8 pounds. it sounds like your daughter is thriving in that area, if you are concerned, it wouldn't hurt just to put a call into your pediatric doctor and ask for a check up with her breathing.
you also might want to note any color changes in her appearance. like around her moth, her nail beds if they are grey or blue in color (if she wasn't already that color, some babies are born that way who have heart issues) if she is really sucking in at her ribs (retracting) and if her nasal area is moving really fast (flaring) then you would need to get her to her doctors or ER.
as far as sweaty, that is a tough call my 3 younger sons all were very sweaty but it is my youngest with the heart defect.
as far as cold are concerned, please please don't allow her to be around ill people as she can get the illness and have a harder time fighting it. we spent many times in the hospital with him as he would catch his brothers colds. don't have anyone who is ill near him I know it sounds anal but when you lived in a hospital and see them fighting it isn't so anal.
It is just my opinion that you feel comfortable with the little ones doctors and just be upfront with them they shouldn't mind you calling and asking questions with your concerns. if you feel there is a breathing issue BEFORE you call unless she is showing those 3 symptoms I suggested, try to take her respiration rate **** for the full minute and this will give her doctors office a general idea.I know this sounds dumb for me to say but it can be hard to count them.
I wish you the best of luck and if any concerns never ever hesitate to call the doctors, they would rather see you and make sure everything is okay then not to see you and not have everything be okay.
michelle
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Avatar_f_tn
okay I didn't say any bad words in my post so why did it block it out
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