A patient who is 4 days post–coronary artery bypass surgery reports
she is having new chest pain that is “different from my angina pain.”
The pain’s onset was 5 or 6 hours ago upon first waking up in the
morning. The patient has a new pericardial friction rub and a low-grade
fever of 100.5°F. The patient is diagnosed with acute pericarditis.
a. Why was this patient at risk for developing pericarditis?
b. Why is this patient now at risk for cardiac tamponade?
c. What are the signs or symptoms that would be
indicative of cardiac tamponade in this patient? What is the underlying
pathophysiology of these signs and symptoms?