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October 1954

PERICARDIAL TAMPONADEDiagnosis and Treatment

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1954;94(4):571-584. doi:10.1001/archinte.1954.00250040063006

ACUTE pericardial tamponade is not encountered frequently in a general medical practice, nor is it likely to become commonplace even in the more specialized experience of the cardiologist. Nevertheless, it is an important mechanical disorder, because failure to recognize it, or delay in initiating treatment, may mean death for the patient or progression of an underlying treatable disease.

During the past few years we have had the valuable experience of seeing and treating a number of patients with pericardial tamponade in a large hospital. As the cases in this series accumulated, three facts became apparent: 1. The diagnosis of pericardial tamponade is frequently missed. 2. There is need to stress the dangers of the acute tamponade. 3. Surgical approach is of great value in selected cases.

DESCRIPTION  Pericardial tamponade results when accumulation of fluid within the pericardial sac or constriction of the pericardium by scar or tumor tissue seriously interferes

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