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Paediatr Anaesth. 1998;8(4):345-8.

Survival following cardiac tamponade and arrest in a paediatric patient with penetrating trauma to pulmonary artery.

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Department of Anaesthesiology & Critical Care, University College of Medical Sciences & GTB Hospital, Delhi, India.


A seven-year-old child with an airgun pellet injury to the upper part of the anterior chest wall was transported in a state of shock from a nearby hospital to this trauma centre. The nature and site of injury associated with engorged neck veins, hypotension, pulsus paradoxus and an enlarged liver suggested the possibility of acute pericardial tamponade. On arrival in the emergency room the child had a brief period of cardiac arrest revived by basic resuscitation procedures. Pericardiocentesis was negative in the emergency room. Emergency median sternotomy with pericardiotomy was done to relieve the tamponade which was peroperatively diagnosed to be due to a tear in the pulmonary artery close to its origin. Early clinical diagnosis, rapid surgical intervention in the operating room and efficient anaesthetic management within the 'Golden Hour' saved life. It is believed that this is the first report of survival of a paediatric patient with a gunshot penetrating trauma to the pulmonary artery leading to cardiac tamponade and a brief period of cardiac arrest.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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