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  1. Ventricular septal defect(VSD) is a very common congenital heart condition that affects infants. VSD is caused when there is a incomplete development of the ventricular septum wall that separates the two ventricles. When someone has this incomplete development, it can lead to irregular blood flow within the four chambers of the heart. This changes the way blood flows through the heart and can lead to major health issues if it goes on untreated. The health issues and, or symptoms of VSDs can vary, from things like heart failure, stroke, and pulmonary hypertension, to irregular heart rhythms (also known as murmurs) and breathing issues. Physicians use stethoscopes to listen to the heart, and also carry out additional diagnostic testing, such as echocardiographic (Echo) imaging, in order to make an accurate diagnosis of this condition. Small VSDs can close during infancy, usually happening between 6-12 months of age. Meanwhile, larger VSD’s can often require more immediate medical interventions, such as surgical repair or transcatheter closure procedures. Regular checkups involving things like echocardiograms(Echo) and other diagnostic tests are important as they track the progress of VSD’s to help ensure a safer outcome for the patient. When possible, early intervention can be essential to improve the outcome of VSD and can significantly aid in preventing further complications such as pulmonary vascular obstructive disease(PVOD). Despite the ongoing research, the exact cause of VSD’s is not yet fully understood, making early comprehensive diagnostics and specialized medical interventions that are specific to each patient’s needs extremely important.

    Tristan Thompson

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