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Is it dangerous to have a heart murmur and faster heart beat after delivering by C-section?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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My daughter is 27 years old. She delivered by c-section 5 days ago. During the last 3 months of pregnancy she was very swollen, hands, feet, legs & face. Since delivery she has had a faster heart beat, 130 resting. Some chest tightening with walking and a bit of smothering feeling. I finally got the dr to order a ekg and it shows a mummur. She never had one until now. She has had various medical workups for other medical problems so I know she never had one before. They ordered a echo yesterday and then today the cardio dr called the nurse and said that there was fluid around her heart and dismissed her. Nothing else. Your opinion please as to how bad this is and how fast she needs to see a doctor.
Posted Fri, 4 May 2012 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 23 minutes later

The history of generalized swelling as described in the history, and the past history of single kidney could indicate hypertensive status during her pregnancy. But in case such condition was detected and then treated effectively, then it would not cause any issues. If the condition was undetected, and she does have high blood pressure, then she might need to be evaluated and proper medications might be needed to control them.

It is common to have tachycardia and symptoms of discomfort as mentioned after delivery, especially after a surgical procedure like C section. The increased blood volume during pregnancy can cause a innocent flow murmur which is not unusual.

The description of fluid around the heart (as mentioned by the doctor) is not specific and confusing. Presence of such a fluid could be due to pericarditis, pericardial effusion, or it could be that she has increased circulation due to increased blood volume. Additional information from the echocardiogram if available might be very helpful.

A examination by a doctor might be helpful in case

1. She has fever, cold sweats,
2. Chest pain, shortness of breath, severe palpitations,
3. Persistant swelling of the feet,
4. lethargy, fatigue, paleness, etc.

Conditions that might need to be ruled out include pulmonary embolism, anemia, pericardial effusion, etc.

I hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Is it dangerous to have a heart murmur and faster heart beat after delivering by C-section? 3 hours later
She did have anemia, discovered during last 2 weeks of pregnancy, but blood pressure stayed very normal as in 125/77. Blood work showed 7.4. I am sure you know exactly what that is. Think they said normal was 12. Day of c-section it had went up to 8.2 with iron tablets. Next day was down to 6.1 and something else was 21.5. They talked about a transfusion but the next day blood work was 6.2 and 21.6. Didn't do any other blood work. But after multiple request the ob dr did order a ekg which led to the echo. Cardio dr did come in and say a mummur showed on the ekg. haven't seen them since. They called nurses today said fluid showed up around heart. Released her. She has a severe speech problem and her nor her boy friend pushed for the dr to come in.
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 9 minutes later

From the description, it seems that she had severe anemia ( hemoglobin 7.4 - 8.2-- 6.1).

This was definitely the reason for the murmur found on the echocardiogram. This is a flow murmur and is common due to high volume of blood flowing across the heart valves in the state of anemia.

Now since the delivery is done, she might need iron supplementation for another 3 months for her anemia to be corrected.

If she is still symptomatic then a decision to correct the anemia by blood transfusion can be done, if the current hemoglobin level is less than 7.0 gm/dl.

Such a treatment might help in correction of the anemia and resolution of her symptoms as well as the flow murmur.

I hope this helps.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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