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Ventricular Septal Defect in Children


A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a common kind of heart defect. With VSD, there is an opening between the two lower chambers (ventricles) of your child's heart. Normally, this closes before a baby is born. A VSD can cause blood to flow back into the right side of the heart instead of to the rest of your child's body. A VSD can lead to heart or lung problems or to low oxygen levels in your child's blood.



  • Medicines help your child's body get rid of extra fluid, which can help him breathe easier. Your child may also need medicine to help his heart beat stronger or more regularly.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care for your child:

  • Let your child rest as needed. Depending on his symptoms, your child may need to rest more than other children his age. Your child's healthcare provider may also recommend limiting certain activities.
  • Keep your child's teeth and gums healthy. This can help reduce the risk for an infection in his heart. Have your child see his dentist regularly.
  • Do not let anyone smoke around your child. Smoke makes breathing difficult for your child. Smoke can also harm his lungs and heart.
  • Ask about a flu or pneumonia vaccine. The flu or pneumonia can make your child's symptoms worse.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has a fever.
  • Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.
  • Your child has swelling in his arms or legs.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Your child has sudden trouble breathing.
  • Your child has weakness or numbness in an arm, leg, or on his face.
  • Your child's lips or fingernails are blue or pale.
  • Your child coughs up blood.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Ventricular Septal Defect in Children (Discharge Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex