Nigerian Journal of Medicine

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Missed Diagnosis of a Delayed Diaphragmatic Hernia as Intestinal Obstruction: A Case Report

BM Gali, AA Bakari, DW Wadinga, US Nganjiwa


Penetrating diaphragmatic injury rarely occurs in isolation. Diagnosis of traumatic diaphragmatic hernia resulting from penetrating diaphragmatic injury may be delayed or missed with attendant high morbidity and mortality. We reported a 28-year-old man who presented with features of subacute intestinal obstruction which became severe over the last four days. He had a stab injury to his left lower chest wall that was sutured 31/2 years prior to the development of symptoms. Emergency laparotomy with incidental findings of missed diaphragmatic hernia with gangrenous jejunal segment was found. The hernia was reduced, gangrenous segment  resected with end to end anastomosis, and repair of diaphragmatic rent
done. He had an uneventful recovery and follow up. There is the need to maintain high index of suspicion of Traumatic Diaphragmatic Hernia (TDH) in a patient with recent or previous thoraco-abdominal injury that will reduce the rate of missed or delayed diagnosis.

Key words: penetrating chest injury, diaphragmatic hernia, delayed, missed diagnosis.

AJOL African Journals Online