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Caring For The Client With Post Cardiac Trauma Syndrome

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Caring for the Client with Post-Cardiac Trauma Syndrome
Post-cardiac trauma syndrome has gone by many names over the past sixty years including: postpericardiotomy syndrome, post-traumatic pericarditis, post-myocardial infarction syndrome, and Dressler’s syndrome. The first case was described by Dressler after a myocardial infarction in 1956. This syndrome can occur after any type of injury to the pericardium and results in cardiac injury that can lead to further complications. It is important for all nurses to know the signs, symptoms, and treatment of this syndrome in order to provide the best care to their clients. The following report will provide a thorough description of post-cardiac trauma syndrome with an emphasis on the
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One study showed that younger patients are more at risk for developing post-cardiac trauma syndrome. Some physicians think this may be due to the difference in immune response between the young and old (Alraies, 2014). There is not an exact time frame that post-cardiac trauma syndrome follows, it can occur weeks or even months after the cardiac trauma and can last from a few weeks to over six months.
Signs and Symptoms
There is not a specific definition to diagnose post-cardiac trauma syndrome; however, the consensus among investigators is that the patient needs to meet 2 out of 5 criteria to make a diagnosis. These criteria are: fever without infection one week post event, pericardial friction rub, new or worsening pericardial effusion, pleuritic chest pain, and new or worsening pleural effusion (Alraies, 2014).
Fever without infection. The client may have a fever as part of the body’s immune response to the antigens in the cardiac muscle. The signs and symptoms of a fever may include sweating, shivering, headache, muscle aches, dehydration, fatigue, or confusion. Fever is a sign of infection so lab tests, like blood and urine analysis, would need to be performed to rule out infection.
Pericardial friction rub. A pericardial friction rub occurs when the pericardium becomes inflamed and rubs together causing a sound that can be heard when listening to the client’s heart.
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