Pericardial tamponade, also referred to cardiac tamponade, happens when blood cannot get to the heart because there is fluid accumulation in the pericardium, the sac surrounding the heart, which
typically only has a small amount of fluid. It causes compression of the heart. The fluid prevents friction as the heart beats. However, if there is too much fluid, it can make it difficult for the
heart to expand the way it should. This extra pressure on the heart reduces the heart’s ability to pump, resulting in a decrease of blood flowing through the body. This condition can happen quickly
when caused by certain events. However, with certain illnesses or conditions, it can happen slowly over time, making it less obvious to doctors and the patient. Either way, this condition can be
life-threatening and once diagnosed must be taken care of immediately.
Get familiar with the causes of pericardial tamponade now.
Blunt Trauma To The Chest
A reason for the sudden presentation of this condition is blunt trauma to the chest. This trauma could be caused by a car accident, stab wound, or workplace accident. If a patient experiences significant blunt force trauma to the chest, it can tear the wall of the heart causing blood to pool around the heart and in the pericardium. This will cause increased pressure on the heart and make it increasingly difficult for the heart to beat and provide blood flow throughout the body. This kind of instance is usually fatal, and the patient will not survive in time to get the surgery they need. However, if the trauma is not as severe, they survive during the transport to the hospital and the condition is diagnosed quickly, they have a great prognosis for survival and recovery.
Keep reading to learn about more causes of pericardial tamponade now.