Cardiovascular Emergencies

  • J. Trent MagruderEmail author
  • Glenn J. Whitman


Cardiovascular emergencies comprise a major source of morbidity and mortality for the surgical intensive care unit patient. Many of the diagnoses discussed below represent some of the few truly emergent situations in modern medicine in which a delay of literally minutes can hasten an adverse outcome. Moreover, the trend toward surgical intervention on patients who in the past years would have been considered too old or ill to undergo surgical intervention dictates that cardiovascular emergencies will remain a challenge for the surgical intensivist. We will discuss several scenarios, including acute myocardial infarction (AMI), pulmonary embolism (PE), cardiac tamponade, tension pneumothorax, aortic dissection, and mechanical complications of myocardial ischemia and infarction. The focus will be on diagnosis and early treatment of these life-threatening conditions.


Cardiovascular emergencies Surgical critical care Acute myocardial infarction Pulmonary embolism Aortic dissection Tension pneumothorax 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiac SurgeryJohns Hopkins HospitalBaltimoreUSA

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