Medical Surgical Cardiac Tamponade #1

Question

A client is diagnosed with cardiac tamponade. Which is/are the classic clinical manifestation(s) of cardiac tamponade? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. Crackles
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because crackles are not associated with cardiac tamponade. Crackles are most associated with heart failure or other respiratory conditions in which the lungs have extra fluid. The classic clinical manifestations of cardiac tamponade are considered hypotension, jugular vein distention (JVD), and muffled heart tones. Other symptoms that occur include shortness of breath, weakness, anxiety, chest pain, loss of consciousness as cardiac output is decreasing. Immediate pericardiocentesis (removal of the excessive fluid) is the treatment.

  2. Widened pulse pressure
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because narrowed pulse pressure (not widened pulse pressure) is most cardiac tamponade. The classic clinical manifestations of cardiac tamponade are considered hypotension, jugular vein distention (JVD), and muffled heart tones. Other symptoms that occur include shortness of breath, weakness, anxiety, chest pain, loss of consciousness as cardiac output is decreasing. Immediate pericardiocentesis (removal of the excessive fluid) is the treatment.

  3. Jugular vein distension
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the classic clinical manifestations of cardiac tamponade are considered hypotension, jugular vein distention (JVD), and muffled heart tones. Cardiac tamponade is a serious medical emergency in which blood or other fluids fill the pericardial space (the sac that surrounds the heart). This extra fluid places increased pressure on the heart to the extent that the ventricles cannot fill and contract. There is then no cardiac output. Other symptoms that occur include shortness of breath, weakness, anxiety, chest pain, loss of consciousness as cardiac output is decreasing.

  4. Muffled heart tones
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because the classic clinical manifestations of cardiac tamponade are considered hypotension, jugular vein distention (JVD), and muffled heart tones. Cardiac tamponade is a serious medical emergency in which blood or other fluids fill the pericardial space (the sac that surrounds the heart). This extra fluid places increased pressure on the heart to the extent that the ventricles cannot fill and contract. There is then no cardiac output. Other symptoms that occur include shortness of breath, weakness, anxiety, chest pain, loss of consciousness as cardiac output is decreasing.

  5. Hypertension
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because hypotension (not hypertension) is a classic clinical manifestation of cardiac tamponade. Cardiac tamponade is a serious medical emergency in which blood or other fluids fill the pericardial space (the sac that surrounds the heart). This extra fluid places increased pressure on the heart to the extent that the ventricles cannot fill and contract. There is then no cardiac output. Other symptoms that occur include shortness of breath, tachycardia, weakness, anxiety, chest pain, loss of consciousness as cardiac output is decreasing.

Overview

The classic clinical manifestations of cardiac tamponade are considered hypotension, jugular vein distention (JVD), and muffled heart tones.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Cardiac tamponade is a serious medical emergency in which blood or other fluids fill the pericardial space (the sac that surrounds the heart). This extra fluid places increased pressure on the heart to the extent that the ventricles cannot fill and contract. There is then no cardiac output. The classic clinical manifestations of cardiac tamponade are considered hypotension, jugular vein distention (JVD), and muffled heart tones. Other symptoms that occur include shortness of breath, weakness, anxiety, chest pain, loss of consciousness as cardiac output decreases. Immediate pericardiocentesis (removal of the excessive fluid in the pericardium) is the treatment.

Test Taking Tip

Remembering the Beck’s triad for cardiac tamponade will help answer this question about the classic clinical manifestations of cardiac tamponade. They are hypotension, jugular vein distention (JVD), and muffled heart tones.

Video Rationale