12 years ago
Cardiac tamponade is a clinical syndrome caused by the accumulation of fluid in the pericardial space, resulting in reduced ventricular filling and subsequent hemodynamic compromise. The resulting pressure prevents the heart's ventricles from expanding fully and keeps the heart from functioning properly. When this happens, the heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of the body, which can lead to organ failure, shock, and even death. The cardiac tamponade is most often the result of penetration of the pericardium, the thin, double-walled sac that surrounds the heart. The cavity around the heart can fill with enough blood or other bodily fluids to compress the heart. As the fluid presses on the heart, less and less blood can enter, and as a result, less oxygen-rich blood can be pumped out to the rest of the body. Eventually, the lack of blood getting to heart and the rest of your body can cause shock, organ failure, and cardiac arrest.