Also known as: ventricular septal defect, VSD, atrial septal defect, ASD.
What are septal defects?
A septal defect is a hole in the tissue (septum) that separates two adjacent chambers of the heart. It is commonly present between the upper chambers of the heart (the left atrium and right atrium) when it's called an atrial septal defect or it can occur between the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) when it is called a ventricular septal defect.
What causes septal defects?
The exact cause of septal defects is not known. It may occur with other congenital heart problems. Genetic (hereditary) and/or environmental factors may play a role.
What are the symptoms of septal defects?
Depending on which type of septal defect is present, and its size, there may be no symptoms or children may present with fatigue, tiredness with playing, sweating, rapid or shortness of breath, recurrent respiratory tract infections, poor growth, and heart palpitations.
What are septal defects care options?
Depending of which defect is present, its size, location, and whether symptoms and/or complications are present or not, ongoing observation, medications, nutritional support, devices to plug the hole, or surgery may be required.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 2:00:02 PM
From the Newsdesk
Naialee Perez had just given birth to her first child, a baby boy named Liam, when a category five hurricane was making its way towards her hometown in the island of Puerto Rico. Liam was on a ventilator and undergoing treatment for a congenital heart defect in Hospital del Niño in San Juan while those on the island prepared for what would become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in its history.
While he was still inside his mother’s womb, Luife was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect. Shortly after birth, Luife was taken by ambulance to the cardiac team at Nicklaus Children’s. The pediatric cardiology team took Luife’s heart apart, piece by delicate piece, and successfully, put it back together. Today, Luife is a healthy, active and outgoing 8-year-old boy who wears his “Scar of Honor” with pride.