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  • Malignant Pericardial Effusion -  An accumulation of fluid within the pericardial sac leading to an effusion can be a presenting symptom in acute oncology patients. Two thirds of cancer patients have subclinical pericardial effusions with no overt cardiovascular signs or symptoms. 50% of cases initially present with symptoms of cardiac tamponade. Symptoms are often attributed to underlying cancers and are often a pre-terminal event; however, prompt diagnosis and management can achieve significant palliation.

  • Malignant Pleural Effusion -  the accumulation of fluid between the lung and chest wall, which may cause breathlessness, low oxygen saturation and can lead to collapsed lung(s). Large effusions, such as those caused by pleural malignancy, may require insertion of a chest drain and controlled drainage of fluid to allow the lung to inflate.

Are you a health professional looking for immediate guidance? 

UKONS Acute Oncology Initial Management Guidelines may help


Recomended reading -


NHS National Patient Safety Alert – Deterioration due to rapid offload of pleural effusion fluid from chest drains

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