What is a heart murmur?
All babies have their heart examined as part of the newborn routine examination. This
examination is done so that babies who have a problem can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. During this examination, your baby has been found to have a heart murmur.
Heart murmur is a noise made by blood as it passes through the heart causing a sound additional to the baby’s normal heart sounds. It can be heard with a stethoscope placed against the babies’ chest. In some babies it may not be there all the time – it may come and go. Some murmurs are normal (called innocent murmurs) and are often heard in newborn babies. Others may be the first sign that there is a problem with the heart structure.
What does it mean for my baby?
Once a heart murmur has been detected, it is important to look for other signs of a possible heart problem. The paediatrician (children’s doctor) will examine your baby to ensure that there are no other problems. If the baby is otherwise well an outpatient referral to Paediatric Cardiology at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, will be made on your behalf. You can take your baby home and await your appointment in the post. At the Paediatric Cardiology Clinic, your baby will undergo further examinations and it is likely that your baby would have investigations such as an echocardiogram (scan of heart) and or an ECG (tracing of the heart’s electrical activity) both are painless procedures carried out by expert staff.
What are the things I should look out for when I take my baby home?
You should seek advice from a midwife, health visitor, GP or your local hospital A&E if your baby:
- Looks pale or blue
- Has difficulty with his or her breathing
- Is finding it difficult to feed or is breathless or sweaty during feeds
- You have other concerns about your baby’s health
If you have any concerns about your child please contact the paediatric team at Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 0191 445 2020 (available 24/07)
You can also e mail the Paediatric secretaries on [email protected] ( in office hours)
Any personal information is kept confidential. There may be occasions where your information needs to be shared with other care professionals to ensure you receive the best care possible.
In order to assist us to improve the services available, your information may be used for clinical audit, research, teaching and anonymised for National NHS Reviews and Statistics.
Further information is available via Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust website (Terms and conditions – QE Gateshead) or or by contacting the Data Protection Officer by telephone on 0191 445 8418 or by email [email protected].
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