What is included in the emergency department (ED) care of cardiac tamponade?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Treatment for this condition depends on the patient’s stability. Unstable patients require immediate treatment of the increase in pericardial pressure with pericardiocentesis (see Surgical Care). Removing as little as 30-50 mL may produce dramatic hemodynamic improvement.

Patients may have subacute tamponade (intermittently decompressing) and may benefit from decompression in the operating room with cardiothoracic care available to treat cardiac injuries.


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