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Is The Blood Always Silent In Its Passage Through The Healthy Heart?

( Originally Published 1921 )

We must answer this question in the negative, and this brings up the whole matter of murmurs. I would advise any one who is interested in the subject of the heart to go to the butcher shop and get a sheep's heart and study it. A sheep's heart is much the same in size and shape as the human heart and reveals the beautiful arrangement of chambers and valves.

Imagine the blood passing through such a complicated arrangement of spaces and it does not seem possible that this can happen without making any noise. You can not turn on a faucet or pour out a glass of water without making some noise. And so how easy it is for the blood when passing through the heart to make a humming sound or a little roaring noise. When these sounds are heard by those who put their ears over the heart, they are called murmurs, and they create worry and anxiety. This should not be so. Much time and study has been spent in interpreting the sound that the blood makes in the heart, and it is possible only for one who is instructed to interpret the meaning of the sounds and translate their language. At least half of the murmurs that are heard when people are quiet do not signify disease of the heart. If young people are made to exercise violently nearly all of them will develop some kind of a murmur. Certainly they are not all permanently damaged, if any of them are.

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