Cardiac tamponade is a rare but possibly fatal complication of blunt thoracic trauma complicated by a sternal fracture. A delayed presentation of cardiac tamponade days or weeks after initial trauma has been described in a few cases. In these cases, the presumed mechanism of cardiac tamponade is pericardial irritation, caused by osseous fragments of the fractured sternum. This case describes a direct mechanical perforation of the right ventricle, caused by a displaced sternal fracture, presenting 5 days after initial trauma. To our knowledge, this mechanism of late cardiac tamponade has not been described in recent literature.
Keywords: Cardiac tamponade; Sternal fracture; Thoracic trauma; Trauma.
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