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Successful management of life-threatening cardiac tamponade by pericardial aspiration in a boy following blunt trauma to the chest
  1. Iruthayanathan Reginald Ragunathan1,
  2. Charitha Munasinghe1 and
  3. Chathuranga Lakmal Fonseka2,3
  1. 1Department of Cardiology, Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Galle, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
  2. 2Department of Medical Sciences, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK
  3. 3Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ruhuna, Galle, Southern Province, Sri Lanka
  1. Correspondence to Dr Chathuranga Lakmal Fonseka; chathuranga.fonseka{at}


A 7-year-old boy was presented with significant chest pain, reduced consciousness with haemodynamic instability following a minor blunt trauma to the chest. He was diagnosed to have a life-threatening pericardial effusion in FAST (Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma scan) ultrasound examination which was confirmed as haemopericardium causing cardiac tamponade in 2D echocardiogram. Emergency cardiac catheterisation ruled out active bleeding and prompt pericardiocentesis under fluoroscopy guidance rapidly restored patients’ haemodynamic parameters. He was successfully discharged without complications after a few days. This case report highlights uncommon presentation of cardiac tamponade without major cardiac injury after a minor blunt trauma in a paediatric patient which was detected early and successfully managed without complications.

  • Interventional cardiology
  • Emergency medicine

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  • Contributors IRR and CMM provided care for this patient. IRR, CMM and CLF conceived the idea for the case report. IRR, CMM and CLF wrote the initial draft and did the editing. All authors accepted the final version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.