• Question: what is the hole in the heart called

    Asked by to Chris, Joanne, Kathryn, Kieran, Sarah on 8 Nov 2017. This question was also asked by 289furk43.
    • Photo: Kieran Fraser

      Kieran Fraser answered on 8 Nov 2017:


      I’m not sure if this is the answer you’re looking for:

      Some big holes in your heart can be a ‘congenital’ problem, meaning that some people have this condition from birth.

      The heart has two sides and both sides have different functions – the left side pumps blood from the body to the lungs where it refuels the blood with oxygen. The right side of the heart then takes the refueled blood from the lungs and pumps it to the rest of the body – our body needs this oxygen in our blood to produce energy so we can move.

      The two sides of the heart are separated by a ‘wall’ called the septum which prevents the blood from either side of the heart mixing. If there is a hole in this wall then blood from the left side of the heart moves the right side of the heart. So the blood being taken from the lungs is put back to the right side of the heart and pumped straight back into the lungs, which isn’t good – it’s putting pressure on the right side of the heart.

      Sometimes these holes are very small and can close/repair on there own without a person even knowing it existed! The name for this condition depends on where the holes are, if it’s between the upper chambers of the heart it’s called atrial septal defect (ASD) and if it’s between the lower chambers it’s called ventricular septal defect (VSD).

    • Photo: Kathryn Schoenrock

      Kathryn Schoenrock answered on 8 Nov 2017:


      everyone is born with a hole in their heart (called a foramen ovale), but it usually closes after birth. If it stays open it is called a patent foramen ovale (PFO). This can be bad, but not always.

    • Photo: Chris Werner

      Chris Werner answered on 8 Nov 2017:


      Depends on which ‘hole’ you are talking about! The others have given a great explanation for some ‘holes’ in the heart, so I’ll cover the blood vessels leading to and from the heart angle! There are two main blood vessels which supply blood to and from the heart, the main artery (the aorta) and the main vein (the vena cava). The aorta pumps oxygen rich blood away from the heart and into the body whereas the vena cava is the vein which brings all the oxygen poor blood towards the heart.

    • Photo: Sarah Guerin

      Sarah Guerin answered on 8 Nov 2017:


      I actually thought of a different answer again when I read your question!

      When you look at a diagram of a heart it looks like it has four chambers or holes in it- these are called the left and right atrium, and the left and right ventricle. They are just the four sections that blood gets pumped to and from đŸ™‚

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