Prescription Pad
Side box

Ventricular Septal Defect

Intro

Any of the following should be reported to your child's health care provider:

  1. Poor weight gain or slowing of weight  gain in the first months of life
  2. Unusual behavior
  3. Any of the other symptoms noted in the previous section

An immediate visit to the nearest hospital emergency department is warranted if you notice any of the following in your infant:

  • Shortness of breath, breathing difficulty of any type, or worsening of an existing breathing problem
  • Bluish color of the skin, lips, or under the nails
  • Unusual or unexplained sweating
Follow-up

Regular office visits and echocardiograms are required to continually reassess the ventricular septal defect.

The child's weight and length/height will be checked often. Feeding and activity levels should be assessed routinely.

Routine antibiotic use is warranted for dental surgery and any invasive procedure.

Top

Prevention

A woman can do nothing during pregnancy  to prevent her baby from developing a ventricular septal defect.

Outlook

During the growth of a child, the defect may become smaller and close on its own.

  • Twenty to 25% of all ventricular septal defects close by age 3 years without medical intervention.
  • Children who show no symptoms and are being monitored by a primary care provider do not have to restrict their activities. Children with mild-to-moderate shunting of blood may have to reduce their levels of activity.
  • Once a defect is repaired, there are no restrictions on activity.

Several other conditions may result from ventricular septal defects.

  • Aortic regurgitation: Blood flowing backward from the aorta into the left ventricle.
  • Endocarditis: An infection of the heart valves due to abnormal blood flow. Because endocarditis is always possible, medical professionals recommend that children with ventricular septal defects routinely receive antibiotics before undergoing dental procedures or surgery.
  • Pulmonary hypertension: An increase in pressure in the right side of the heart and in the arteries of the lungs. This is caused by the shunting of blood from the left to the right ventricle, which increases the pressure in the right ventricle.

Top

© Copyright 2014 CompuRx Infotech Pvt. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.