Cardiac (Pericardial) Tamponade

Cardiac tamponade results when the heart is compressed by an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the pericardium, the membranous sac enclosing the heart. Significant increase in pressure on the heart due to dramatically elevated fluid levels will impede the hearts ventricles from properly filling with blood. This will decrease cardiac output resulting in a lower volume of oxygenated blood being delivered to the body`s tissues.

Cardiac tamponade in a newborn with respiratory distress syndrome who developed pneumopericardium associated with barotrauma from mechanical ventilation. Chest radiograph shows pneumopericardium with cardiac tamponade.




Jauhar, Sandeep. 2008. Intern : a doctor’s initiation. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York.


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