Acute Cardiac Tamponade


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Expiration Date

31 Dec 2023

Last Reviewed

1 Jan 2021

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

Cardiac tamponade occurs when excessive fluid accumulates in the pericardium, in turn compressing the heart and restricting the filling of the cardiac chambers and ultimately causing hypotension and cardiac arrest. This activity reviews the etiology, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and management of pericarditis and cardiac tamponade and reviews the role of the interprofessional team in managing this condition.

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Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Describe the classic presentation of a patient with cardiac tamponade.
  • Explain how to evaluate a patient with cardiac tamponade.
  • Outline how to treat a patient with cardiac tamponade.
  • Summarize the importance of a cohesive, interprofessional team approach to caring for patients with cardiac tamponade.

Author(s) / Contributors Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

Each author, editor, faculty and planning committee member have completed a disclosure form indicating that neither they nor their spouse/partner has a financial interest/arrangement or affiliation that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of this activity.

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, and StatPearls, LLC. The Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University designates this activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is reported to the following Maintenance of Certification (MOC) boards:
American Board of Anesthesiology
  • Cardiac Anesthesia
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • General Operative Anesthesia
American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Critical Care Medicine
  • Hospice and Palliative Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Interventional Cardiology
American Board of Pathology
  • Cardiovascular
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Pulmonary, Mediastinum
  • Surgical Pathology
American Board of Pediatrics
  • Adolescent Medicine
  • General Pediatrics
  • Pediatric Cardiology
  • Pediatric Pulmonology
American Board of Surgery
  • Surgical Critical Care

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing and a money-back guarantee is provided if not completely satisfied.

  • StatPearls and ETSU reserve the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances. StatPearls and ETSU will not be responsible for other expenses incurred by the participant in the unlikely event that the program is canceled.

Equal Opportunity

  • StatPearls and ETSU are Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action / Equal Access Institutions. 

Medium or Media Used:

  • Computer Requirements:  Internet Access
  • E-mail Address

Instructions for Credit

  1. Register for the activity and create a StatPearls login.     
  2. Review the required accreditation information:  Target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Complete the entire self-study activity.
  4. Complete the post-test assessments.
  5. Successfully pass the post-test with a minimum score of 100%.
  6. Complete the evaluation survey. 
  7. Obtain a certificate.

StatPearls and ETSU adhere to ACCME Standards regarding commercial support of continuing medical education. It is the policy of StatPearls and ETSU that the faculty and planning committee disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity, that relevant conflict(s) of interest are resolved, and also that authors and editors will disclose any unlabeled/unapproved use of drug(s) or device(s) during their presentation. Detailed disclosure will be made prior to starting the activity.

The information provided at this CME/CE activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

  • If you need help with the system or have a question about content, please contact
  • If you have a question about the ETSU CME providership, please contact


Media Usage Rights

The contributors and editors of StatPearls have attested that all associated media (images and video) have been legally cleared for use with this activity.  All copyrights are reserved.

  • Name: 'tamponade.mp4' Attribution: Contributed by Emory EM US section
  • Name: 'Tamponade on echo 4.mp4' Attribution: Contributed by N.K. Choudhry, MD


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