When Is A Heart Murmur Serious?
August 26, 2010, 5:13 PM
When your doctor listens to your heart, they listen to hear it beating and for anything extra like a murmur. A murmur is often innocent, but in some cases, they can be serious.
A heart murmer is the sound blood makes as it goes through a valve in the heart and usually doesn't require treatment. But murmurs can be caused by blood flowing through a damaged or overworked heart valve. Sometimes a doctor can tell if the murmur needs treatment by simply listening to the heart but an ultrasound can give them a definite answer. The treatment usually means open heart surgery with no other alternative.
"It can be life threatening because there are changes that take place in your heart over time. The heart actually does a fair amount of work, as I said, 2,000 gallons of blood a day. Even a minor insufficiency can sometimes have permanent changes that can affect your life going forward," Dr. Mike Hibbard said.
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