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Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

Health 27679

VSD is a hole in the wall separating the two lower chambers of the heart. In normal development, the wall between the chambers closes before the fetus is born, so that by birth, oxygen-rich blood is kept from mixing with the oxygen-poor blood. When the hole does not close, it may cause higher pressure in the heart or reduced oxygen to the body. 

What causes it? In most children, the cause isn't known. It's a very common type of heart defect. Some children can have other heart defects along with VSD. 

How does it affect the heart? Normally, the left side of the heart only pumps blood to the body, and the heart's right side only pumps blood to the lungs. In a child with VSD, blood can travel across the hole from the left pumping chamber (left ventricle) to the right pumping chamber (right ventricle) and out into the lung arteries. If the VSD is large, the extra blood being pumped into the lung arteries makes the heart and lungs work harder and the lungs can become congested. 

Ventricular Septal Defect Symptoms: Signs and symptoms of serious heart defects often appear during the first few days, weeks or months of a child's life. 


Ventricular septal defect symptoms in a baby may include:

  • Tires easily when eating or playing.
  • Is not gaining weight.
  • Becomes breathless when eating or crying.
  • Breathes rapidly or is short of breath.
  • Shortness of breath when you exert yourself or when you lie down.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  • Fatigue or weakness.


Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)

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