Port Harcourt Medical Journal

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Perforation of the jejunum-an unusual mechanism

P E Iribhogbe, N J Nwashili, O O Oludiran


Background: Perforation of the jejunum following blunt abdominal trauma can be as a result of various mechanisms. Its diagnosis oftentimes is challenging.
Aim: To report a rare case of blunt abdominal trauma with perforation of the jejunum due to a coffin and discuss the diagnosis and management of this condition.
Setting: Department of Surgery, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.
Case Report: A 19-year-old female was an unrestrained passenger in a 14-seater bus conveying several passengers and an unrestrained coffin. The bus was involved in a roll-over vehicle crash during which the patient suffered a severe impact to the abdomen from the coffin with perforation of the jejunum. She had a trauma laparotomy with repair of the jejunum and had an uneventful recovery.
Conclusion: This case illustrates the inherent risks involved in transporting caskets and corpses in a passenger vehicle. We recommend that these be conveyed in hearses with the appropriate restraints in place. Health education, legislation and enforcement on this issue are imperative in developing countries.

Keywords: Casket, Blunt abdominal trauma, Jejunal perforation

PHMJ Vol. 2 (2) 2008: pp. 174-176
AJOL African Journals Online