How Retained Blood can Trigger Post-op Atrial Fibrillation (POAF)

Retained blood left behind by clogged chest tubes clots in the pericardial space.

Red blood cell hemolysis and pro-inflammatory recruitment of white blood cells leads to free radical release and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS)2.

ROS cause lipid peroxidation, which results in the breakdown of cell membranes, leading to myocardial surface damage, as indicated by increased ltocal biomarkers2.

Myocardial damage from oxidative stress can trigger cardiac arrhythmias such as POAF.