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Re: RE: Heart Murmurs

Posted By Shandra on June 03, 1998 at 23:58:58:

In Reply to: Re: RE: Heart Murmurs posted by CCF CARDIO MD-APS on May 31, 1998 at 22:17:23:






My 3-year old was recently diagnosed as having a heart murmur.  Her pediatrician
has required us to make an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist.  
I am searching for information on heart murmurs so that I can be better informed
of what they are.  My family has a huge history of heart disease and this has
scared my husband and myself a great deal.  
Her murmur was detected on the lower right side of the heart and can be heard
all along the right side to the top right side.  I don't completely understand
all of this.  
Also 2 months ago she was treated for a staff infection and is currently on
Duricef for another staff infection.  
I would like any information you can give me.  
Thank you!


______
Dear Chandra,
First I will explain to you what creates a murmur.  This is an abnormal sound
created anywhere in the body by the abnormal flow of blood.  By abnormal I mean
high flow (like when the heart is going fast or there is a low blood count)
or disturbed flow(like past an obstruction)that creates a whoosh like sound that the
physician can hear with his stethescope placed over the area of abnormality.  In the case
of our child it appears there is some sort of abnormal flow heard best along the
right sternal border of the chest.  A murmur heard in this area can indicate an abnormality
in the right side of the heart, specifically the tricuspid or pulmonic valves or the
right atrium or ventricle (the collecting chambers); the valves are the doorways between
the different chambers and arterial conduits that make up the heart.  Until an echocardiogram
(ultrasound of the heart)is performed there is really little value in predicting what and where and
how serious this 'mumur' might be.  Now might be a good time to mention that a family history of heart
disease can mean many things and that your child's abnormality is unlikely related to such a history as
heart attacks and such as these have to do with blockages in the coronary arteries and your child's
potential abnormality sounds structural (something that usually develops in the womb.)  It is hard for me
to explain more when this 'family history is not better defined'.
The 'staff' infection you speak of can be related, and can even be the cause of the abnormality heard
by the doctor, however without a thorough investigation of the heart with ultrasound and other tests it is
impossible to speculate.  I hope this information has been of some help to you, and please ask again later when
more information is available; more importantly ask the pediatric cardiologist questions during and after
the examination of your child's heart.  Good Luck.
Information provided in the Heart Forum is intended for general informational purposes only, actual
diagnosis and treatment can only be made by your physician(s).  
CCFC,
In response to more info on heart disease in the family, there is a history of rhuematic hearts in both mine and my husbands families.  I understand a little about rhuematic fever.  
I have been told that both rhuematic heart disease and heart murmurs can be genetic.  I have a heart murmur that was
detected in March of this year and it poses no problems to me.  My daughter is also now having
moments of breathlessness and her coloring looks almost gray.  I've taken her to the ER and they say that
it isn't her heart.  What else could cause this?  
Thanks for all of your other information.
Shandra

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