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A very large hemorrhagic pericardial effusion due to malignancy as seen on ultrasound which was causing tamponade. closed arrow: the heart, open arrow: the effusion

Tamponade is the closure or blockage (as of a wound or body cavity) as if by a tampon especially to stop bleeding.[1] Tamponade is a useful method of stopping a hemorrhage. This can be achieved by applying an absorbent dressing directly onto a wound, thereby absorbing excess blood and creating a blockage, or by applying direct pressure with a hand or a tourniquet.

There can, however, be disastrous consequences when tamponade occurs as a result of health problems, as in the case of cardiac tamponade. In this situation, fluid collects between the heart muscle and the pericardium. The pressure within the pericardium prevents the heart from expanding fully and filling the ventricles, with the result that a significantly reduced amount of blood circulates within the body. If left unchecked, this condition will result in death.

Bladder tamponade is obstruction of the urinary bladder outlet due to heavy blood clot formation within it.[2] It generally requires surgery.[2] Such heavy bleeding is usually due to bladder cancer.[3]

Pressing Bone Wax into bleeding bone is considered hemostasis by tamponade, as opposed to methods which physically or biochemically activate the clotting cascade.


  1. "Tamponade - Definition". Retrieved 6.1.2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Page 352 in:
  3. Attention: This template ({{cite pmid}}) is deprecated. To cite the publication identified by PMID 16898598, please use {{cite journal}} with |pmid=16898598 instead.

Portions of content adapted from Wikipedias article on Tamponade licensed under GNU FDL.

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