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Pericardiocentesis

This procedure only occurs as an emergency where for some reason there is blood outside the heart but inside the pericardium (heart sac). This is an urgent situation requiring immediate attention. This excess blood needs to be drained from the pericardium. This involves putting a drainage tube through the chest wall into the pericardium to allow the blood to drain. When the build up of excess blood is no longer a problem the drain is removed.