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The heart is a muscular pump that has four chambers. A ventricular septal defect is an opening in the wall between the lower chambers of the heart. It is a type of congenital heart defect, which means that your child was born with it.
When this defect is present, some of the blood may flow from one side of the heart through the opening to the other side. This can make the heart pump too much blood to the lungs and not enough to the rest of the body.
A very small opening may not cause problems. Small openings sometimes close on their own.
Larger openings can weaken the heart and lead to heart failure. Your doctor will determine if the opening should be closed with surgery.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your baby may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your baby's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:John Pope MD - Pediatrics & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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