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Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2007 Jun;26(6):593-5. Epub 2007 May 23.

[Delayed tamponade and traumatic myocardial contusion: evaluate the risk after blunt chest trauma].

[Article in French]

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Service de réanimation polyvalente, département d'anesthésie-réanimation A, hôpital Lapeyronie, CHU de Montpellier, Montpellier, France.


Cardiac contusion is frequently found in patients with blunt chest trauma. It is important to note that even if there is a low incidence of pericardial effusion, iterative echocardiography should be used to provide essential information for the diagnosis of cardiac tamponade which can be life-threatening during hospitalisation. The case has been reported of a 17-year-old patient with blunt thoracic trauma in whom the introduction of anticoagulant treatment induced a delayed cardiac tamponade with myocardiac failure 3 weeks after a cardiac contusion. Thoracic computed tomography confirmed the diagnosis and moreover, revealed a pleural effusion with pulmonary embolism. The drainage of the pericardial effusion (700 ml) rapidly restored haemodynamic stability and as such has been proved to be life-saving.

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