ACTION STAT: Pericardial tamponade

February 2006 
Volume 36  Number 2
Pages 88 - 88
  PDF Version Available!



Clinical Nursing Instructor, Fayetteville Technical Community College, Fayetteville, N.C.

WHEN THE PARAMEDICS BRING Eric Smith, 42, into your ED, he's anxious, diaphoretic, short of breath, and complaining of pain from a stab wound in his chest. He's receiving 100% oxygen via non-rebreather mask and 0.9% sodium chloride solution at 100 ml/hour via two large-bore I.V. lines. The paramedics tell you that when they first assessed Mr. Smith, his BP was 130/86; heart rate, 118; and respiratory rate, 32. But during transport, his condition began to deteriorate. The thoracic surgeon has been notified. You quickly take Mr. Smith's vital signs: BP, 86/60; heart rate, 138; respirations, 32; and Spo 2 , 94% on 100% oxygen.

Figure. No caption available. What's the situation?

Mr. Smith tells you that his wife stabbed him with a kitchen knife during an argument. He has a single stab wound to the left chest wall; the paramedics have controlled the external bleeding. ...

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