Pericardiocentesis

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Pericardiocentesis

It is a puncture of pericardium to evacuate pericardial fluid.

  • In hospital conditions, it is performed under echocardiographic control, which minimizes complications and allows subsequent insertion of a thin drain.
  • In the field, the pericardium is punctured so-called blindly.
    • The patient assumes a semi-sitting position.
    • The epidural needle is inserted to the left of the xiphoid process at an angle of about 45 ° below the ribs towards the left nipple.
    • With constant aspirations, we approach the heart.
    • We are waiting for a faint thud signaling the penetration of the pericardium and the subsequent aspiration of blood/serous fluid/air.
    • After aspiration of blood, a small amount of blood is sprayed out and monitored for clotting. Blood from the pericardial space does not contain fibrin and therefore does not clot.
    • Exercise carries the risk of pericardial and cardiac laceration or injuries coronary artery or lungs.
    • Lethality of blind pericardiocentesisis around 20%.

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