Munson Health
 
Cardiac Tamponade

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by Kohnle D

(Tamponade; Pericardial Tamponade)

 

Causes

Cardiac tamponade can be caused by a variety of factors and conditions, including:
  • Pericarditis —an inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart, caused by bacterial or viral infections
  • Bleeding into the pericardium, caused by injury
  • Ruptured heart muscle
  • Cancer in or near the heart
 

Treatment

This is a serious condition. It can be life-threatening and requires immediate hospitalization and treatment.
Treatments are given to:
  • Save the patient's life
  • Improve heart function
  • Relieve symptoms
Treatments that are given for cardiac tamponade include:
  • Pericardiocentesis —a procedure to drain the fluid around the heart
  • Fluids to maintain normal blood pressure
  • Antibiotics
  • Medications to help increase blood pressure to normal levels
  • Oxygen to reduce workload on the heart
  • Surgery to remove or cut part of the pericardium
If you are diagnosed with cardiac tamponade, follow your doctor's instructions .
 

RESOURCES

American Heart Association
http://www.heart.org

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Cardiovascular Society
http://www.ccs.ca

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
http://www.heartandstroke.com

 

References


Braverman A, Sundaresan S. Cardiac tamponade and severe ventricular dysfunction. Ann Intern Med . 1994;120:5:442. Available at: http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/120/5/442 . Accessed January 23, 2013.


Cardiac tamponade. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 15, 2010. Accessed January 23, 2013.


What is pericarditis? National Heart Lung and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/peri/printall-index.html. Accessed January 23, 2013.

 

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