What are the morbidity and mortality associated with pericardial tamponade?

Updated: Nov 28, 2018
  • Author: William J Strimel, DO, FACP; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Pericardial tamponade, which is heralded by the equalization of diastolic filling pressures, can lead to severe hemodynamic compromise and death. It is treated with expansion of intravascular volume (small amounts of crystalloids or colloids may lead to improvement, especially in hypovolemic patients) and urgent pericardial drainage. Positive-pressure ventilation should be avoided, if possible, as this decreases venous return and cardiac output. Vasopressor agents are of little clinical benefit.


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