Blood flowing the wrong way

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Submitted by Dr T on June 23, 2013 – 10:19am

My 12yr old grandson was suffering from headache after a fall playing basketball. one medication the doctor told them he needed and EKG before taking. They then said his heart blood flow  is backward. Is this possible or do they mean he has a leaky valve as my brother has?

 Why don’t doctors explain things in ways that people can understand? Undoubtedly, it means your grandson has a connection between the left and right side of his heart, sometimes called a hole in the heart . The right and left sides of your heart are divided by an internal wall of tissue called the septum because your blood flow should from right to left via the lungs where oxygen is added and CO2 removed (among other things). The blue color indicates venous blood (low in oxygen). After the blood passes through the lungs in becomes saturated with oxygen and is called arterial (red color) blood:

Normal blood ciculation in your heart

Sometimes a congenital heart defect is present that allows blood to flow back from left to right, a condition that puts extra strain on the heart. Below you’ll find images of the most common defects. The purple color indicates where the blood from the left side of the heart mixes with the right side. After birth this should no longer happen:

Atrial Septal Defect  

Ventricular Septal defect

If true, it will need to be fixed. The fact this has not been detected earlier is probably a good sign, unless he has never been exposed to “modern medicine”:

Hope this helps,

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