Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

EMGuidewire's Podcast

Jul 27, 2021

Join the EMGuidewire team at Carolinas Medical Center Emergency Medicine program as they discuss important topics. This week, Drs. Cravens and Kastner discuss Penetrating Cardiac Injury (PCI):

-The diagnosis of PCI is made in the trauma bay with repeat cardiac ultrasound exams and chest x-ray. If suspicion remains high despite inconclusive imaging, operative subxiphoid pericardial window is the definitive diagnostic modality.

-Large pericardial injury, especially from ballistic injuries, can result in PCI without positive pericardial fluid on FAST, if the blood is draining into the hemithorax. This would result in hemothorax, but not always with high enough drainage to mandate operative intervention if PCI is not kept with high index of suspicion.

-ED management of PCI is stabilization until the patient can be managed in the OR with sternotomy and external cardiac repair. In the pulseless patient with recent arrest, ED thoracotomy is indicated, provided operating room intervention is available immediately following. Unstable patients with a pulse need immediate operative intervention; if FAST is positive for pericardial fluid, ED pericardiocentesis should be considered as a temporizing measure in these patients, especially if transfer is needed for OR intervention.