What Is Cardiac Tamponade?

Heart Tamponade or Cardiac Tamponade is a medical condition that causes disruption of heart function in pumping blood throughout the body. This condition occurs due to the accumulation of blood or other body fluids in the percardium space, namely the space between the heart with the heart membrane ( pericardium ). Heart tamponade is an emergency situation, requiring immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of Heart Tamponade
Heart tamponade has the following symptoms:
  • Hypotension .
  • Chest pain that spreads to the neck, shoulders, back, or stomach.
  • Hard to breathe.
  • Anxious and restless.
  • Dizziness, fainting , or loss of consciousness.
  • Discomfort that arises when sitting or leaning forward.
  • Limp.
  • Pale.
  • Swelling in the legs or stomach.
  • Heart pounding .

Causes of Heart Tamponade
Cardiac tamponade is usually caused by very strong pressure on the heart. This pressure is produced by blood or other body fluids that fill the pericardium space, the space between the heart muscle and the thin membrane that wraps the heart (pericardium). When the fluid suppresses the heart, the ventricles or the heart chambers can not fully expand. This condition causes less blood to enter the heart and less oxygen-containing blood to be pumped throughout the body. The condition of the lack of blood supply to the heart and the whole body can cause shock , heart failure , and other organ failure.

Some of the causes of fluid accumulation in the pericardium, include:
  • Heart attack .
  • Kidney failure.
  • Infection.
  • The cancer spreads to the pericardium membrane, such as breast cancer or lung cancer.
  • Pericarditis or inflammation of the pericardium.
  • Lupus .
  • Hypothyroidism .
  • Radiotherapy in the chest.
  • Rupture of aortic aneurysm .
  • Injury due to blunt object blunt on the chest during a car accident or other.
  • Gunshot wounds or stab wounds.
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Diagnosis of Heart Tamponade
Cardiac tamponade usually has 3 signs that the doctor realizes. These signs are known as Beck's triads , which include:
  • Low blood pressure and pulse are weak because the volume of blood pumped by the heart is reduced.
  • A rapid heartbeat accompanied by a weakening heartbeat resulting from a buildup of fluid inside the pericardium.
  • The veins of the veins in the neck stand out because of the difficulty of returning blood to the heart.
The doctor will also conduct further tests to support the diagnosis. Some checks that are usually performed by doctors, among others are:
  • Electrocardiography. Electrocardiographic examination is performed for the patient's electrical heart activity.
  • Photo ontgen chest. An X-ray examination in the chest may show enlargement of the heart if the patient has cardiac tamponade.
  • Echocardiography. Cardiac ultrasound examination to detect whether the pericardium is enlarged and whether the ventricles deflate due to low blood volume.
  • CT scan of the heart. Examination to see if there is accumulation of fluid in the pericardium space or other changes that occur in the heart.
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiogram (MRA) heart . Examination to see the blood flow in the heart.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment of the major causes of cardiac tamponade are essential to reduce the risk of death from this disease.

Treatment of Heart Tamponade
Heart tamponade is an emergency condition requiring immediate treatment. As a first step, people with heart tamponade will be given additional oxygen, and medications to relieve the heart's workload and increase blood pressure.

There are 2 goals of treatment of cardiac tamponade, namely reducing the pressure on the heart and treating the cause. Here are some procedures that doctors do to reduce the pressure on the heart, namely:
  • Pericardiocentesis (pericardium punk), the procedure performed to remove fluid from the pericardium space by needle.
  • Pericardiectomy, a surgical procedure by cutting and removing partial pericardium lining the heart. This procedure is done to help reduce the pressure on the heart.
  • Pericardiodesis, namely the provision of drugs directly into the pericardium to attach the pericardium to the heart muscle. This procedure is commonly performed when there is a recurring liquid buildup in the pericardium chamber (pericardial effusion).
  • Torakotomi , the invasive procedure performed by a doctor to remove blood clots from injury by opening the chest wall.
Once the pressure on the heart is reduced, the doctor will look for the cause of cardiac tamponade and provide treatment against the cause.

Heart Tamponade Complications
Complications that may occur due to cardiac tamponade, among others are:
  • Shock
  • Bleeding.
  • Pulmonary edema .
  • Heart failure.
  • Dead.

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