Cardiac Tamponade

Overview of the disorder:

Cardiac Tamponade is when fluid fills the space between the pericardium and myocardium, causing immense pressure to form around the heart. This pressure constricts the amount of room in which the heart has to expand, making it close to impossible for the body to receive the proper amount of blood.

What causes it?

  • An aortic aneurysm
  • final stage of lung cancer
  • A heart attack
  • Heart surgery
  • Pericarditis, or another form of a viral/bacterial infection
  • Heart tumors
  • Some evasive heart procedures
(The image is of a heart tumor)

Incidence

This condition is typically more common in males in which the ratio 2:1. I children the condition is more common in boys rather than girls with a ratio of 7:3. Within the United States the incidence is 2 cases in every 10,000 people

Symptoms

When one may have this condition they may be experiencing the following:


  • Rapid Breathing
  • Sharp pain in the chest, neck, shoulder, back, or possibly the abdomen
  • Swelling of the abdomen, or other areas of the midsection
  • Fainting/feeling light-headed
  • Grey or pale blue skin
  • Weak or absent pulse
  • Fever
  • Elevated pressure on the veins/arteries closest to the heart

How do they find it?

Possible tests one can receive may be an x-ray, CT scan, ECG, or Coronary angiography

Possible Prevention?

There is not a prevention for this condition, other than being aware of your risk factors, and keeping your heart as healthy as possible.

Treatment Options

In order to treat this condition there are a few possible options:

  1. Pericardiocentesis, which is the insertion of a needle into the chest to suck up the fluid.
  2. A surgical pericardiectomy, the removal of a section of the pericardium, this will ultimately release the trapped fluid.
  3. Oxygen may be given to the patient in order to decrease the need for blood flow and this can eventually cause the fluid to leave the area.

Resources

"Cardiac Tamponade." Healthline. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.


"Cardiac Tamponade: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia." U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.


"Cardiac+tamponade - Google Search." Cardiac+tamponade - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016.


"Cardiac+tamponade - Google Search." Cardiac+tamponade - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2016


"Heart+healthy - Google Search." Heart+healthy - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016


"Heart+tumor - Google Search." Heart+tumor - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.


"Medical+needle - Google Search." Medical+needle - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.


"Ct+scan+machine - Google Search." Ct+scan+machine - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.


"Weak+heart+rate - Google Search." Weak+heart+rate - Google Search. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2016.