Refers to pericardial puncture for the evacuation of pericardial fluid (blood, effusion, pus) in situations where the accumulation of fluid leads to pressure on the heart chambers (especially right), i.e. cardiac tamponade, and eventually hemodynamic compromise and obstructive shock.

In hospital conditions, it is usually done with ultrasound navigation. This increases success of puncture while minimizing possible procedure-related complications. In out of hospital conditions (pre-hospital care) or in the unavailability of an ultrasound device, the pericardium can be punctured blindly with only landmark navigation.