Show Summary Details
Page of

Cardiac complications in trauma 

Cardiac complications in trauma
Cardiac complications in trauma

Lydia Lam

, Leslie Kobayashi

, and Demetrios Demetriades



Use of diagnostic modalities to diagnose blunt cardiac contusion, added 3 new references

Updated on 22 February 2018. The previous version of this content can be found here.
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 11 July 2020

Post-traumatic cardiac complications may occur after penetrating or blunt injuries to the heart or may follow severe extracardiac injuries. The majority of victims with penetrating injuries to the heart die at the scene and do not reach hospital care. For those patients who reach hospital care, an immediate operation, sometimes in the emergency room, cardiac injury repair, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation provide the only possibility of survival. Many patients develop perioperative cardiac complications such as acute cardiac failure, cardiac arrhythmias, coronary air embolism, and myocardial infarction. Some survivors develop post-operative functional abnormalities or anatomical defects, which may not manifest during the early post-operative period. It is essential that all survivors undergo detailed early and late cardiac evaluations. Blunt cardiac trauma encompasses a wide spectrum of injuries that includes asymptomatic myocardial contusion, arrhythmias, or cardiogenic shock to full-thickness cardiac rupture and death. Clinical examination, electrocardiograms, troponin measurements, and echocardiography are the cornerstone of diagnosis and monitoring of these patients. Lastly, some serious extracardiac traumatic conditions, such as traumatic pneumonectomy and severe traumatic brain injury, may result in cardiac complications. This may include tachyarrhythmias, cardiogenic shock, electrocardiographic changes, troponin elevations, heart failure, and cardiac arrest.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.