Continuing Education Activity
Pericardiocentesis is a procedure performed to remove pericardial fluid from the pericardial sac that surrounds the myocardium. It is often performed in the setting of pericardial tamponade to correct the hypotension that is being caused by decreased stroke volume which is a result of the extrinsic compression of the chambers of the heart by the pericardial fluid. Pericardiocentesis is performed using one of several approaches and may be performed blindly or using real-time imaging adjuncts such as transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) or fluoroscopy to reduce the risk of procedural complications. The procedure may be performed at the bedside or in the cardiac catheterization lab. This activity reviews the indications, contraindications, and technique for performing pericardiocentesis and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in the management of patients with pericardial effusion.
- Identify the technique involved in performing pericardiocentesis.
- Describe the indications for pericardiocentesis.
- Outline the complications of pericardiocentesis.
- Explain a structured interprofessional team approach to provide effective care to and appropriate surveillance of patients undergoing pericardiocentesis.