Author(s): Beauchamp G, Khalfallah A, Girard R, Dube S, Laurendeau F,
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Abstract Diaphragmatic injury is often a missed diagnosis in patients with multiple trauma. For this reason, mortality can be high. From 1970 to 1981, 32 patients with diaphragmatic injuries were seen at Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital. Twenty-four of the patients (22 men and 2 women aged 18 to 79 years) had blunt abdominal or thoracic trauma causing diaphragmatic disruption. Rupture occurred 20 times on the left side of the diaphragm, and 3 times on the right side. There was one pericardiophrenic rupture. Motor vehicle accident was the most common cause of trauma. On arrival, 21 patients had acute diaphragmatic rupture. Clinical signs and radiography permitted early diagnosis in 15 patients, whereas diagnosis was made later in 3 other patients because of deterioration of vital signs. In two patients, diagnosis was made at laparotomy for another reason. Four patients were operated on for post-traumatic chronic diaphragmatic hernia. The abdominal approach was used in 18 patients, the thoracic approach in 4, and the thoracoabdominal approach in 2. Three patients died, two of whom had a late diagnosis. Fourteen patients had no complications. Diaphragmatic trauma can be easily managed surgically when diagnosis is made early after trauma. It must always be looked for in patients with multiple trauma.
This article was published in Am J Surg
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access