Signs and symptoms of serious heart defects often appear during the first few days, weeks or months of a child's life.
Ventricular septal defect symptoms in a baby may include:
- Poor eating, failure to thrive
- Fast breathing or breathlessness
- Easy tiring
You and your doctor may not notice signs of a ventricular septal defect at birth. If the defect is small, symptoms may not appear until later in childhood — if at all. Signs and symptoms vary depending on the size of the hole and other associated heart defects.
Your doctor may first suspect a heart defect during a regular checkup if he or she hears a murmur while listening to your baby's heart with a stethoscope. Sometimes VSDs can be detected by ultrasound before the baby is born.
Sometimes a VSD isn't detected until a person reaches adulthood. Signs and symptoms can include a heart murmur and shortness of breath your doctor hears when listening to your heart with a stethoscope.
When to see a doctor
Call your doctor if your baby or child:
- Tires easily when eating or playing
- Is not gaining weight
- Becomes breathless when eating or crying
- Breathes rapidly or is short of breath
Call your doctor if you develop:
- Shortness of breath when you exert yourself or when you lie down
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Fatigue or weakness