FIVE years ago we1 reported our experience with the aspiration of blood from the pericardial cavity in the treatment of acute cardiac tamponade due to hemopericardium. At the time of our report, the results led us to the conclusion that aspiration of the pericardial contents is the treatment of choice for hemopericardium and that open operation should be resorted to only if bleeding continues or is resumed. Blau,2 Anderson and Starbuck3 and others have reported successful results with nonoperative treatment.
Since our previous report, there has been an improvement in the mortality rate associated with the operative treatment of wounds of the heart. In 1944 Linder and Hodo4 reported a mortality of 43 per cent in 28 cases, a rate which is almost identical with Elkin's mortality of 42 per cent in 38 cases, reported in 1941.5 However, it is of interest that in the