15th May 2014
When our baby was born, the routine battery of tests revealed Kingsley (not yet named) to be healthy and alert. Standard exams over the course of our four day hospital stay concluded that the infant was strong of limb, and that his faculties were already operating at pace. The pediatrician doing the rounds the day of our discharge did, however, detect a slight heart murmur. He assured us this is nothing to be worried about and that the infant’s heart beat will regularize soon enough.
Fast forward to Kingsley’s four month vaccination appointment, and his pediatrician again detected a heart murmur – albeit feint – which this time was to be subsequently checked by a specialist pediatric cardiologist. We were thus instructed to fix a time for the boy to be hooked up to an Electrocardiogram Machine. This prospect was unsettling to say the least.
Heart murmur is simply a noise heard between the beats of the heart. When a doctor listens to the heart, he hears a sound something like lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. Most often, the period between the lub and the dub and between the dub and the lub is silent. If there is any sound during this period, it is called a murmur.
Turns out our child’s heart has an “innocent” murmur. And this is extremely common, and usually normal (that is, the sounds are causes by a healthy heart pumping blood normally). An afternoon’s testing at our Medical Centre – beginning with observation for changes in skin color (turning blue), as well as breathing and feeding difficulties, then concluding with the electrocardiogram, and an echocardiogram – revealed nothing. Nothing but good health and a strong beat and a bonny boy. What a heart!