Care of patients with blunt cardiac trauma is challenging for bedside nurses because of the potentially elusive and subtle nature of clinical findings associated with such trauma. An understanding of the forces exerted during the trauma episode will assist nurses in the assessment and search for hidden injuries. A high index of suspicion and continued cautious assessment and attention to subtle changes in the patient's physical condition are essential. Keen attention to changes in the patient's vital signs, cardiac output, ECG findings, pulses, and fluid volume status alert nurses to potential injuries associated with blunt cardiac trauma ranging from myocardial contusion to cardiac tamponade, aortic tears, and cardiac rupture. Survival of patients with blunt cardiac trauma depends on early intervention.

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