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Pneumopericardium after cardiopulmonary resuscitation – case report

Katarzyna Dąbrowska, Wojciech Dąbrowski

CaseRepClinPractRev 2006; 7:23-26

ID: 445544

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Background: Pneumopericardium (PP) is a very rare and dangerous complication of resuscitation in adults.
In the majority of cases PP develops slowly but sometimes has aggressive character, particularly
after cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The aim of the study was to analyse the case of pneumopericardium as a complication of
successful resuscitation following reflex circulatory arrest.
Case Report: A 58-year-old woman was hospitalized due to a traumatic fracture of the femur. Due to the
complicated fracture of the femoral bone surgical reposition was performed. On the fifth
postoperative day circulatory arrest occurred, which was complicated by tension PP and
pneumothorax. The ultrasound and X-ray examination were performed. The active pleural
drainage was installed and the pericardium was tapped. On the 24[sup]th[/sup] hospitalization day the
patient was discharged in a general good condition.
Conclusions: 1. Pneumopericardium may be a complication of circulatory-respiratory resuscitation.
2. The first symptom of tension pneumopericardium may be haemadynamic instability, which suggests the hypovolemic shock.

Keywords: Pneumopericardium, Pneumothorax, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation