Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
What is a Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)?
An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a congenital (present at birth) heart condition where there is a hole in the heart’s upper septum (the divide between the left and right sides of the heart). As a baby develops in the womb, it is typical for there to be openings in the heart, but they usually close right before or just after birth. When a hole remains in the septum between the upper heart chambers after birth, this is called an atrial septal defect (ASD).
An atrial septal defect (ASD) causes increased blood flow within the heart and to lungs. If the hole isn’t repaired, it can cause permanent lung damage and other health complications. No one knows exactly why atrial septal defect (ASD) occurs, but it is thought to be genetic or the result of environmental factors.
What are the signs and symptoms of a Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)?
- Heart murmur (irregular heartbeat)
- Poor/stunted growth
- Frequent respiratory infections
- General fatigue (tiredness)
- Shortness of breath
- Become easily tired while playing