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What causes heart murmurs and shortness of breath?

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Posted on Wed, 18 Mar 2015
Question: I have a heart murmur that causes blood from the right side of my heart (non-oxygenated) to leak into the left side (oxygenated). This causes me to be out of breath quite often. How do we fix it?
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Answered by Dr. Kathy Robinson (10 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
septal defect

Detailed Answer:
Hello and thanks for your question. It sounds like you have a septal defect between either the atria or the ventricles. The septum is the piece of heart muscle that goes between the atria and also between the two ventricles. A septal defect is really a hole between either the atria or the ventricles. Blood flowing across this defect causes a murmur. When you heart contracts then the blood not only goes where it is supposed to but also can leak across the defect mixing oxygenated blood with non-oxygenated blood. The only way to repair this is with surgery. You will need to consult a cardiothoracic surgeon who can discuss the possible surgical repairs for you.
Regards,
Dr. Robinson
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Kathy Robinson

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1989

Answered : 3535 Questions

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What causes heart murmurs and shortness of breath?

Brief Answer: septal defect Detailed Answer: Hello and thanks for your question. It sounds like you have a septal defect between either the atria or the ventricles. The septum is the piece of heart muscle that goes between the atria and also between the two ventricles. A septal defect is really a hole between either the atria or the ventricles. Blood flowing across this defect causes a murmur. When you heart contracts then the blood not only goes where it is supposed to but also can leak across the defect mixing oxygenated blood with non-oxygenated blood. The only way to repair this is with surgery. You will need to consult a cardiothoracic surgeon who can discuss the possible surgical repairs for you. Regards, Dr. Robinson