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Iatrogenic Causes of Cardiac Tamponade Resulting From…

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Iatrogenic Causes of Cardiac Tamponade Resulting From…


Cardiac tamponade is one of the most severely life-threatening emergencies encountered, mainly because of its significant impact on the pumping capacity of the heart by compressing the cardiac chambers due to the rapid accumulation of blood, fluid, pus, or clots in the pericardial sac. These accumulations may be collected following traumas, malignancies, uremia, and many other medical conditions as well as surgical procedures. Numerous errors and medicolegal aspects have been identified in diagnosing and treating cardiac tamponade associated with cardiac-related procedures such as valve replacement surgeries, cardiac pacemaker implantation, pericardiocentesis, and other non-cardiac related procedures such as peri-hiatal surgeries. Patients taking anticoagulants or anticancer medications are especially susceptible to developing cardiac tamponade when undergoing surgical procedures, raising the question of preoperative screening to avoid errors. Misdiagnosis, treatment delay or failure to deliver the utmost quality of treatment, lack of complication screening and follow-ups for those at risk, surgeons rushing to complete cases, burnout, and other human factors are predispositions to the development of cardiac tamponade. Fortunately, most of these errors occurring within healthcare settings are avoidable and must be prevented for eliminating any risks to reduce the incidence and mortality of cardiac tamponade cases resulting from iatrogenic etiology. It is an intricate condition where precision and caution are crucial.

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