Ventricular Septal Defect
VSD is the most common birth defect – 1 in 500 babies.
A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a heart defect that happens during pregnancy. If the wall between the heart’s two ventricles does not fully develop, a hole forms. Normally, the left side of the heart only pumps blood to the body, and the right side only pumps blood to the lungs. But when a hole is there, blood can travel backwards, from the left to the right side of the heart, and back to the lungs instead of out to the body, and this makes the heart work harder.
While there often is no clear cause of congenital heart defects, VSDs can run in families.
A VSD may not be noticeable at birth, and if the defect is small, symptoms may not appear until later in childhood – if at all. Many small VSDs close on their own. If the condition is more serious, symptoms often appear during the first few days, weeks or months of a child’s life. Children with larger VSDs may need surgery early in life to prevent complications from the condition. If left untreated, medium or large VSDs can cause pulmonary hypertension, endocarditis, abnormal heart rhythms or valve problems.
Symptoms may include:
• Poor eating, failure to thrive
• Fast breathing or breathlessness
• Tiring easily