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Definition of «Cardiac tamponade»

Cardiac tamponade: A life-threatening situation in which there is such a large amount of blood or other fluid inside the pericardial sac around the heart that it interferes with the performance of the heart. If cardiac tamponade is left untreated, the result is dangerously low blood pressure, shock, and death. The excess fluid in the pericardial sac acts to compress and constrict the heart and severely restrict its function. Cardiac tamponade can be due to excessive pericardial fluid, a wound to the heart, or rupture of the heart. Also known as pericardial tamponade.

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