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February 1969

Pericardial Tamponade From Central Venous Catheters

Author Affiliations

Nashville, Tenn
From the departments of surgery (Drs. Thomas and Carter) and medicine (Dr. Lowder), Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Surgical and Medical Services of Vanderbilt University Hospital and Nashville General Hospital, Nashville, Tenn.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(2):217-218. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340080109023

Central venous pressure monitoring has become a frequently utilized adjunct in management of the critically ill patient. Central venous pressure is usually obtained through a cannula in the right atrium or intrathoracic cava. No technic of cannulation has been entirely free of complications. Recently pericardial tamponade has been added as a potential hazard. This complication can be treated adequately when present and can be prevented if proper technic is utilized. Two cases are presented with pericardial tamponade from cardiac perforation of a central venous cannula, both recognized in the same medical center in a brief period of time.

Report of Cases  Case 1.—A 19-year-old Negro woman was admitted to Vanderbilt University Hospital on Feb 19, 1968 with a small caliber bullet wound of the left hemithorax. At the time of admission a left tube thoracostomy was performed evacuating 500 ml of blood. At the same time a nonradioopaque PE240 36

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