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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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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