Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD)
An atrioventricular septal defect results in a is a large hole between the upper filling chambers (atria) and the lower pumping chambers (ventricles) of the heart. There is also only one valve between the atria and ventricles instead of two. The hole allows more blood to flow from the left side of the heart to the right. This increases the pressure of the blood travelling to the lungs, making the right hand-side of the heart work harder and function less well.
An atrioventricular septal defect is a form of congenital heart disease – a term used to describe a problem with the heart’s structure and function due to abnormal development before birth.
Our Cardiorespiratory Unit regularly refers to information published by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Children's Heart Federation when explaining atrioventricular septal defect to our patients and their families.