Background.: From 1972 to 1977, a treatment protocol was developed at our institution for patients with suspected penetrating intrapericardial wounds. It consists of immediate transport to the operating room, pericardial decompression by subxiphoid pericardial window under local or light general anesthesia in patients in stable condition, and median sternotomy and operative repair with limited use of cardiopulmonary bypass. Methods.: The records of 79 consecutive patients with acute penetrating intrapericardial injury who underwent operation from March 1978 to July 1991 were reviewed. There were 59 patients (75%) with stab wounds and 20 (25%) with gunshot wounds. Wound location was as follows: right ventricle, 33 (42%); left ventricle, 28 (35%); multiple sites, 8 (10%); atrium, 5 (6%); and great vessels, 5 (6%). Results.: Subxiphoid pericardial window was performed under local or light general anesthesia in 53 patients (67%). Cardiopulmonary bypass was required in only 4 patients. Overall mortality was 6%. Conclusion.: Approach to a trauma victim must be systematic. We believe one treatment protocol for patients with suspected penetrating intrapericardial wounds is effective.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine