Author(s): Carter JW
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Abstract An 11-year retrospective review of 51 patients with diaphragmatic injuries revealed 33 blunt and 18 penetrating injuries. In the blunt trauma group 24 were left-sided and nine were on the right side. Preoperative diagnosis was made in 24 patients. Delayed diagnosis (greater than 24 hours) during life occurred in four patients and two injuries were found at autopsy. Chest X-ray was diagnostic or highly suggestive in 23 patients. All patients in this group had associated extra-abdominal injuries; 23 patients had concomitant intraabdominal injuries. Transabdominal repair was performed in 24 patients. Four deaths occurred in the blunt injury group. The penetrating diaphragmatic wounds consisted of 14 left-sided, three right-sided, and one pericardial wound. Preoperative diagnosis occurred in only three patients. The penetrating wound, hypotension, or peritoneal signs dictated operation in the remaining 15 patients. One death occurred from peritonitis and septic shock. Blunt and penetrating diaphragmatic injuries remain a diagnostic challenge and associated injuries determine the outcome.
This article was published in J Trauma
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access