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Cardiac Tamponade

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Question: What is cardiac tamponade and how does it cause the observed symptoms? What is cardiac tamponade and how does it cause the observed symptoms?

Answer: The space surrounding the heart, the pericardial space, becomes filled with fluid or blood. This compresses the heart and prevents it from filling during diastole, so it contains nothing to speak of to eject when systole comes. This results in heart's failure to pump and dangerously low blood pressure. The neck veins will be distended as returning blood has nowhere to go, and the heart sounds will be faint as the valve excursions are diminished and their sounds are muffled by a wall of fluid. "Cardiac tamponade, also known as pericardial tamponade, is an emergency condition in which fluid accumulates in the pericardium (the sac in which the heart is enclosed). If the fluid significantly elevates the pressure on the heart it will prevent the heart's ventricles from filling properly. This in turn leads to a low stroke volume. The end result is ineffective pumping of blood, shock, and often death."……

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