Why have I been given this leaflet?
When a baby’s chest is examined with a stethoscope we are listening for sounds made by the lungs during breathing and by blood flowing through the heart, heart valves and main blood vessels connected to the heart. Whilst listening to the blood flow through your baby’s heart we have heard an extra sound or noise called a heart murmur.
What is a heart murmur?
A heart murmur is an extra noise caused by turbulence in the blood as it flows through your baby’s heart, valves or blood vessels. Hearing heart murmurs in newborn babies is common and most heart murmurs in the newborn are harmless, causing no symptoms or long term health problems. This type of heart murmur is called an ‘innocent heart murmur’. Innocent heart murmurs may come and go or vary with breathing or heart rate over the first few weeks of life. Occasionally though, a heart murmur can be linked to a problem with the way that blood flows through the heart, or a structural problem with the heart. Even if an underlying problem is the reason for a baby’s heart murmur, there is treatment available. A heart murmur very rarely proves fatal.
What happens next?
Innocent heart murmurs fade and disappear without any treatment. To check that this is happening, we would like to see you and your baby in clinic again within the next 6 weeks to listen to your baby’s heart once more. An appointment will be sent to you in the post.
Is my baby likely to become unwell?
No, we do not expect your baby to become unwell. But until we see your baby in clinic, we would like you to look out for the following signs:
If this happens, you will notice your baby breathing more quickly. Your baby would probably have difficulty feeing properly, may not gain very much weight or may have a rapid weight gain. You may notice your baby becoming sweaty.
If this happens, you will notice a blue colour to your baby’s lips and tongue.
If you notice either of these symptoms, please contact the Children’s Emergency Dept at Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton on: 01273 696955 Ext. 62364
This leaflet is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.