Signs and symptoms of serious heart defects usually appear during the first few days, weeks and months of life. Swelling may develop in the legs, abdomen or around the eyes.
Perhaps your baby has shortness of breath during feedings, which leads to poor weight gain. If the defect is large, your baby's skin may lose its healthy color, appearing pale gray or blue. Although other conditions can cause these signs, they may be those of a congenital heart defect.
You and your doctor may not notice signs of a ventricle septal defect at birth. If the defect is small, symptoms may not appear until later in childhood - if ever. Signs and symptoms vary depending on the size of the hole. Your doctor may first suspect a heart defect during a regular checkup while listening to your baby's heart through a stethoscope.
Larger ventricular septal defects may cause:
A bluish tint to the skin, lips and fingernails Poor eating, failure to thrive Fast breathing or breathlessness Easy tiring Swelling of legs, feet or abdomen Rapid heart rate
When to seek medical advice
Call your doctor if your baby or childTires easily when eating or playing Is not gaining weight Becomes breathless when eating or crying Has a bluish tint to his or her skin, especially around the fingernails and lips Breathes rapidly or is short of breath
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