Annals of African Surgery

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Paediatric traumatic rupture of the diaphragm

Augustine Olugbemi, Ezekiel Ogunleye, O.A. Olowoyeye, J.O. Eyekpegha, Akerele Oluwaseye, Daniel Kehinde, Oyebola Adekola


Traumatic diaphragmatic rupture is not a common injury in children. It is an important cause of morbidity and mortality, though diagnosis may be missed or delayed with atypical clinical presentation and confounding radiological features. A 4-year-old male presented with periumbilical abdominal pain, bilious vomiting, fever and progressive difficulty in breathing for two days. He had complained of vague left-side chest pain on return from the swimming pool about 6 weeks earlier. An initial chest radiograph showed a non-outlined left hemidiaphragm, a left pneumothorax, rightward mediastinal shift and suspected bowel in the chest. He could not afford a CT scan, hence a repeat chest radiograph was performed, which outlined the stomach with an air-fluid level in the left hemithorax.

Keywords: Traumatic Diaphragmatic Rupture, Child, Atypical Chest pain, Blunt injury

AJOL African Journals Online