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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Anybody experienced with babies hearts?

(11 Posts)
Signoritawhocansway Tue 28-Feb-17 13:38:32

My 7 week old DD has just had 48 hours in hospital due to Bronchiolitis. She has recovered well, but while we were in the doctors picked up a heart murmur (which my GP had missed at her 6 week check, and which wasn't picked up at her newborn check).

I know you'll pile in and say murmurs are common and nothing to worry about it. But here's what's happened so far. They kept us in an extra 24 hours to double check it, and it was still present at the next check when she was sleeping - so not just because of viral infection, or exertion. They then sent us for chest x-ray, which came back clear and did an ECG which is where I've started worrying. On the ECG they said the trace shows that one of the chambers is larger than the rest and so they want us to go back in for an echocardiogram next week.

In the meantime, I'm quietly anxious. My husband had a heart murmur as a child, which was nothing to worry about, but one of his sisters died shortly after birth due to congential heart problems. And my Mum and I have atrial fibrillation (she passed away from heart failure 18 months ago).

Any words of comfort anybody? What does it mean if one chamber is bigger than the rest? The murmur is grade 2, so not horrendously loud, and they wouldn't have let us home if they were worried <talks self down from panic>

Witchend Tue 28-Feb-17 14:01:10

Ds was picked up at 4 or 5 weeks with a heart murmur when we went in for something else. By the time we saw the heart person a few weeks later it had cleared.
When it was picked up, we were at the GPs and they checked very thoroughly, and got another GP in for a second opinion before letting us go. I'm sure if we'd been in hospital with something as serious as your dd we'd have been kept in.

A friend's daughter has a heart murmur. She's in her early 20s and a champion marathon runner (and a good sprinter too). It's never stopped her at all. She goes once a year for a check up where they say "yep, it's still there."

LoveMyLittleSuperhero Tue 28-Feb-17 14:05:56

My friends son has a heart murmer, was missed till he was 2.5! He's in his 30s and not a problem with his health at all.
Like you said, no way would they have let you home if they were worried about your sons heart and at least it has been found while he is young so if he needs any support he will have it. I know what the worry is like though, my DD has a hole in her heart which we have to get scanned again this week. Not that you would know!
flowers try not to worry

foxyfemke Tue 28-Feb-17 14:53:33

They picked up a murmur in my son when he was less than a week old. He had a hole in his heart and had surgery at 6 weeks old and he's now a very healthy toddler.

If there is something amiss, they can do amazing things these days. I wouldn't worry too much for now (easier said than done!) and if they had been really worried, they would've kept him in.

Ilikethenamesadie Tue 28-Feb-17 15:55:43

Hmm sorry but I'd be quietly anxious too. Can you bring the echo forward?
In the meantime be alert for other symptoms - if she stops feeds, skin colour changes, more sleepy than usual etc. Also learn how to do a capillary refill test too where you press down on a nail and see how quickly the blood comes back.
Heart murmurs are usually ok but if they are saying one side is dilated I'm not sure how that is linked to the mumour?

Signoritawhocansway Tue 28-Feb-17 16:19:02

ilikethenamesadie yes, everything I've read so far worries me <step away from google!>. She is quite sleepy anyway, but feeds well. She has always had mottled skin, so that's not helpful!

sashh Tue 28-Feb-17 16:37:01

Whatever is there or not there this is still your beautiful baby. You are only going to find out a bit more about them at this stage.

All the echo will show is what is there and if there needs to be treatment then it can start.

Can I ask about the ECG?

1) was it taken by a nurse or a physiologist (AKA tech)?
2) who reported on it?

It really needs to be reported on by a paediatric cardiologist. They are few and far between but it is easier and cheaper for a hospital to get an echo than send you to one of the specialist centres which may be a wasted journey for you and where you would probably be sent for an echo anyway.

Baby ECGs are incredibly difficult to analyse for a number of reasons but one is that because the chest wall is so thin the qRS complexes (the tall 'spikes') are huge - this is what an adult ECG indicates if a lower chamber is enlarged.

If it is an automated print out - well personally I think you'd get as good a 'reading' from Mystic Meg.

The echo will show the structures and can make accurate measurements.

Please do not worry.

It is probably nothing, if it isn't 'nothing' then treatment can start now, which really is the best time.

What does it mean if one chamber is bigger than the rest?

It depends on which chamber, and it depends on what has caused the enlargement.

I know that doesn't help, try this.

Say you have a lump on your hand.

It could be cancer, and that's what google would say. It could be a cyst - which is harmless, or a bee sting that is harmless for most people but serious for others or you could have hit your hand with a hammer.

Now google might also tell you about a cyst but if you google 'causes of lump on hand' you will never get 'bee sting' or 'hit with a hammer' because the medical world doesn't bother writing papers on every day things like that.

Signoritawhocansway Tue 28-Feb-17 16:48:29

Thanks sashh. The ECG was done by a tech and reported on by a paediatric registrar. She is the one who has passed it on to a paed cardiologist, who decided it warranted more investigation, and whose clinic we'll attend next week for an echo.

MissHC Tue 28-Feb-17 17:27:04

My friend's DD has heart problems (lots of little holes etc., quite extensive problems). When she was born they were adamant she'd need open heart surgery. She's now 19 months and doesn't need it, probably not even keyhole surgery.

Babies are resilient little things. It's good that it's getting checked up but please don't worry too much before the scan.

Ilikethenamesadie Tue 28-Feb-17 22:27:46

I should add op that my baby had complete heart failure at a week old - function 14%, thickened heart muscle, dilated heart muscle, leaky valves, the works... and she's completely recovered in her heart now. They are VERY resilient things babies and sounds like you are seeing all the right doctors.

sashh Wed 01-Mar-17 07:39:49

Glad you are seeing the right people OP and I hope you are less worried now.

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