When septic infection occurs during the progress of pericarditis, or when paricarditis occurs as the result of septic infection, the effusion may be sero-purulent or purulent in character. Purulency may follow a sero-fibrinous inflammation as a later and more serious development of the disease. With the purulent effusion some hemorrhage into the sac may occur, and in tuberculosis, and with some cases of Bright's disease, hemorrhage has occurred when the effusion was serous in character.
Symptomatology:—When pus is present in the sac the effusion is not as great in quantity, usually, as when serum alone is present. There is hectic fever and irregularly recurring chilliness. There is a small, rapid and feeble pulse, quickly becoming irregular. The patient becomes rapidly weaker, especially if hemorrhage into the sac occurs. A positive diagnosis can only be made by puncture with a hypodermic needle, and the fluid being examined. The treatment is fully given under pericarditis.
The Eclectic Practice of Medicine with especial reference to The Treatment of Disease, 1910, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.