Should You Be Concerned About Heart Murmurs?


When listening to the sound of a heartbeat, it isn’t uncommon for medical professionals to also hear an unusual or different sound; this additional sound is called a “ heart murmur .”  While this common condition isn’t necessarily an indicator of poor health, in some cases it could be an early indicator of severe congenital heart defects or heart valve disease.  This overview about cardiovascular health may help clarify what a heart murmur is and when to follow up with a heart specialist here at Sunrise Hospital:

  • How the Heart Works
    A normal, healthy heart pumps about 1,800 gallons of blood a day.  The heart is split into four distinct chambers which are separated from one another by a thin layer of tissue called the septum.  These four chambers work in coordination with several valves to circulate blood through the lungs and the rest of the body.  An issue in any one of the chambers, valves, or septum membrane can result in an abnormal heart murmur.
  • Innocent Heart Murmurs vs. Abnormalities
    Innocent (also functional or physiological) heart murmurs pose no health threat to the patient, and are most commonly found in healthy children.  Innocent heart murmurs generally disappear when a child reaches adulthood.  In some cases, a child or adult may exhibit an abnormal heart murmur resulting from a leakage of blood back into the heart or similar problems.
  • Potential Risks and Treatments
    Abnormal heart murmurs found in children are most often the result of congenital birth defects.  According to the AHA, about nine out of 1,000 children will suffer from congenital heart defects .  In adults, certain conditions such as atherosclerosis (plaque buildup), heart failure, and heart attack may alter a healthy valve structure and result in later problems.

Here at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center of Southern Nevada, we have taken steps to stay at the forefront of acute medical treatment through targeted investments in the latest technologies and procedures.  Learn more about our heart and vascular care facilities by calling (702) 233-5300 or visiting us online today.

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