Gunaseelan Rajendran, Guguloth Ramesh Babu, Vinodha Chandrasekar, Rajeshwari Kagne, Balamurugan Nathan

Department of Emergency Medicine and Trauma, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry, India

Keywords: Blunt cardiac injury, cardiac, echocardiography, pericardiocentesis, right atrial rupture, serial pressure gradient measurement, tamponade, thoracotomy


Cardiac tamponade is a cardiac emergency that requires urgent intervention. Cardiac tamponade due to penetrating cardiac injury requires urgent thoracotomy. As per the guidelines, pericardiocentesis can be done as a bridge to thoracotomy. However, no clear guidelines exist on the management of cardiac tamponade due to blunt cardiac injury. In the following case report, we propose a management plan for blunt cardiac injury in the emergency department. In the following case report, we describe a patient with a road traffic accident who had a blunt cardiac injury and had cardiac tamponade for whom we did not do emergency pericardiocentesis. Instead, we managed the patient with iv fluids and blood transfusion and the patient was taken up for immediate emergency thoracotomy. Not all cardiac tamponade requires pericardiocentesis. Cardiac tamponade due to injury to the low pressure system can be best managed by initial resuscitation followed by emergency thoracotomy. We also propose a management plan for managing a patient with cardiac tamponade due to blunt cardiac injury when the injury can be visible in the low pressure chambers.