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Parzival's Pericardial Puncture

Ann Intern Med. 1980;92(5):640. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-92-5-640
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According to Kotte and McGuire (1) aspiration of the pericardium was first performed in 1819 by Romero. But I believe the procedure was described at least 600 years earlier—in Parzival, the medieval German heroic poem written around 1200 by Wolfram von Eschenbach (2).

Then my lord Gawan dismounted. There lay a man pierced through, with his blood rushing inward. He asked the hero's lady whether the knight were still alive or in the throes of death.

"Sir," she replied, "he is still alive, but I think it will not be for long. God has sent you here for my comfort.


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