Cardiac Tamponade Quiz

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Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

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Learn more about Cardiac tamponade

Content updated on Sep 20, 2022

What is cardiac tamponade?

Cardiac tamponade is a serious medical emergency where blood or fluid fills the space around your heart, compressing your heart and preventing it from pumping blood to other organs effectively.

Symptoms of cardiac tamponade

  • Feeling breathless

  • Fatigue

  • Chest tightness

Questions your doctor may ask to check for cardiac tamponade

Your doctor may ask these questions to diagnose cardiac tamponade

  • Are you breathless or having hard time breathing?

  • Do you feel fatigued?

  • Do you have chest tightness?

Treatment for cardiac tamponade

It is a medical emergency and the fluid compressing on the heart has to be removed as soon as possible. Pericardiocentesis is the most common procedure offered by doctors to remove the fluid and treat the cardiac tamponade. The drainage of the fluid is performed using a needle and a small catheter.

View the symptoms of Cardiac tamponade


  • Appleton C, Gillam L, Koulogiannis K. Cardiac Tamponade. Cardiol Clin. 2017 Nov;35(4):525-537. doi: 10.1016/j.ccl.2017.07.006. PMID: 29025544.

  • Hoit BD. Pericardial Effusion and Cardiac Tamponade in the New Millennium. Curr Cardiol Rep. 2017 Jul;19(7):57. doi: 10.1007/s11886-017-0867-5. PMID: 28493085.

  • Spodick DH. Acute cardiac tamponade. N Engl J Med. 2003 Aug 14;349(7):684-90. doi: 10.1056/NEJMra022643. PMID: 12917306.

  • Roy CL, Minor MA, Brookhart MA, Choudhry NK. Does this patient with a pericardial effusion have cardiac tamponade? JAMA. 2007 Apr 25;297(16):1810-8. doi: 10.1001/jama.297.16.1810. PMID: 17456823.

Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

From our team of 50+ doctors

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