Pericardiocentesis is a procedure performed to drain fluid from all around the heart. Usually, it is an emergency treatment option for cardiac tamponade. It is a life-threatening condition causing the heart to stop. The procedure is followed by inserting a needle into the chest until the needle reaches the pericardium. Once the doctor reaches the location, needle insertion is done to drain fluid gradually.
Pericardiocentesis is helpful in draining fluid across the heart and diagnosing the additional fluid. There are conditions that might raise the need for pericardial effusion such as:
There are different causes for fluid amalgamation that are not known. Pericardiocentesis is not the only way to remove the fluid, however, it is recommended as it is less invasive than traditional surgery. There are times when doctors prefer draining the fluid surgically. It is often performed in people with chronic fluid inflammation or build-up, for those who require removal of the pericardium part, and for people with certain attributes of fluid.
There are various reasons for pericardial effusion and cardiac tamponade enhancing the need for pericardiocentesis treatment. It includes:
Doctors involve following certain steps before the pericardiocentesis procedure such as:
The doctor will ask the patient to change into the hospital gown for performing the pericardiocentesis procedure. The patient has to lie down on the special table in the cardiac catheterization lab. Mild sedation is given to relax, however, the patient is conscious during the procedure. An Intravenous line insertion is initiated into the hand or arm if medications or fluids are required. Local anesthesia is used to numb the area on the chest so that a needle can be inserted and then a catheter is guided into the sac around the heart. The doctor might involve using an electrocardiogram machine or X-ray for making sure the catheter is in the right position. The doctor will lastly ensure the draining of the fluid around the heart.
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The fifth left intercostal space close to the sternal margin is the site to perform pericardiocentesis
Large-bore 18 gauge needle is used for performing the pericardiocentesis
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