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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
Murmurs are sounds made by blood circulating through the heart's chambers or valves, or through blood vessels near the heart.
Heart murmurs may be caused by a number of factors or diseases, including:
A physician will evaluate your child’s murmur based on several factors. Murmurs are analyzed for pitch, loudness and duration. They also are graded according to their intensity (on a scale of one to six, with one being faint and six being very loud).
Types of murmurs include:
Murmurs related to a congenital (present at birth) heart defect or other problem involving the heart structures will be heard the loudest in the area of the chest where the problem occurs.
Not all heart murmurs are symptoms of heart disease. Sometimes, a child may have a murmur if she has a fever or is anemic; these murmurs often go away when the underlying problem is treated.
Some children have what’s known as an innocent murmur. These murmurs are not related to congenital heart defects and usually resolve by the time a child reaches adulthood. If your child's physician hears an innocent murmur, he may want to perform additional tests to ensure that he doesn’t have a heart defect. A child with an innocent murmur can live a normal life and be as active as any other healthy child.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”