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Am J Emerg Med. 2012 May;30(4):634.e1-2. doi: 10.1016/j.ajem.2011.01.028. Epub 2011 Mar 15.

A successful treatment of cardiac tamponade due to an aortic dissection using open-chest massage.

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  • 1Department of Traumatology & Critical Care Medicine, National Defense Medical College Hospital, Tokorozawa Saitama, Japan.

Abstract

An 81-year-old woman became unconsciousness after complaining of a backache, and then, an ambulance was called. She was suspected to have an aortic dissection by the emergency medical technicians and was transferred to our department. On arrival, she was in shock. Emergency cardiac ultrasound disclosed good wall motion with cardiac tamponade but no complication of aortic regurgitation. Computed tomography of the trunk revealed a type A aortic dissection with cardiac tamponade. During performance of pericardial drainage, she lapsed into cardiopulmonary arrest. Immediately after sterilization of the patient's upper body with compression of the chest wall, we performed a thoracotomy and dissolved the cardiac tamponade by pericardiotomy and obtained her spontaneous circulation. Fortunately, blood discharge was ceased immediately after controlling her blood pressure aggressively. As she complicated pneumonitis, conservative therapy was performed. Her physical condition gradually improved, and she finally could feed herself and communicate. In cases of acute cardiac tamponade, simple pericardiocentesis often is not effective due to the presence of the clot, and a cardiac tamponade by a Stanford type A aortic dissection is highly possible to complicate cardiac arrest, so emergency physicians should be ready to provide immediate open cardiac massage to treat such patients.

PMID:
21406318
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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