CARDIAC TAMPONADE

Cardiac tamponade occurs when cardiac filling is severely limited by the presence of a large amount of pericardial fluid.

Clinical Features

The affected patient presents with;

  • Severe dyspnoea
  • Cold extremities with decreased capillary refill
  • Raised jugular venous pressure (JVP)
  • Tachycardia
  • Pulsus paradoxus
  • Inaudible heart sounds.

Investigations

  • Full blood count
  • Urinalysis
  • Blood culture
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Echocardiography

Management

  • Admit urgently and do pericardiocentesis.
  • May need to have a temporary drainage catheter.
  • Treat any underlying condition.
  • Needs ICU care.