Treatment of acute pericardial tamponade with a high-vacuum drainage system
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Irrespective of its cause, an acute pericardial tamponade is a life-threatening condition and is a dreaded complication in every catheter laboratory. It is defined by a compression of the heart due to the pericardial accumulation of fluid as a result of effusion, trauma or rupture of the heart . Common causes and pathophysiological basics as well as clinical appearance and diagnosis have been the subject of numerous publications in recent years [1, 4]. Here, we focus on the clinical management of acute pericardial tamponades and in particular on an extension of the classic pericardiocentesis algorithm. We hypothesize that the continuous removal of pericardial effusion by high-vacuum drainage is a safe approach that reduces the risk of clot formation in the pericardial space potentially leading to occlusion of the drainage system with recurrent tamponade. Certainly, these preliminary findings need to be confirmed in larger patient cohorts to prove efficacy and safety of this...
We thank the nursing staff of our intensive care unit for all their work.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All ethical standards were met in writing and submitting this correspondence.