A Answers (1)
Cathy Provins-Churbock, PhD, Critical Care Medicine, answeredPericarditis is the inflammation of the lining of the heart. Pericarditis in and of itself is not life threatening. But complications of pericarditis such as pericardial effusions, or accumulation of fluid between the sac of the heart and the heart itself, are life threatening. If a patient has signs or symptoms of an effusion they may very well be monitored in the critical care unit and in this case the illness is critical.