What is Cardiac Tamponade?

Cardiac Tamponade

For the next few minutes I want to talk a little bit about cardiac tamponade (cardiac tamponade). This has to do with an effusion of fluid that accumulates in the pericardial sac. Ordinarily, in this sac around the heart there’s about 50 milliliters of fluid which reduces friction.

With a sudden increase in fluid in that sack around the heart it can produce compression on the heart and a lot of negative factors. Now, some of the things that this is caused by (this cardiac tamponade is caused by): as a side effect of trauma, (or complication due to trauma) pericarditis, cardiac surgery, and heart failure all can be possible causes of cardiac tamponade.

Along with that, with that increase in fluid and compression on the heart you also get an increase in the end-diastolic pressure in both ventricles, you get a decrease in venous return, and a decrease in ventricular filling.

Some of the symptoms that indicate someone has a cardiac tamponade include a feeling of intense pressure or pain in the chest or on the heart, dyspnea, (difficulty breathing) pulsus paradoxus greater than 10, and also Beck’s triad is commonly found as well.

Treatment includes surgery to go in and control bleeding, relieve cardiac pressure. Also, pericardiocentesis with a large-bore needle in order to remove fluid. These are just a few of the things related to cardiac tamponade: possible causes of it, ways of recognizing it, and the treatment factors involved.

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: August 15, 2019