South African Journal of Child Health

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Splenic rupture in a neonate – a rare complication

LG Lloyd, W de Witt


Birth trauma is well described in the neonatal literature, but intra-abdominal injuries occur infrequently and are often forgotten in the differential diagnosis of a hypovolaemic shocked infant with an abdominal mass. The symptoms of splenic rupture are nonspecific, creating a diagnostic dilemma for the clinician. As splenic rupture denotes a surgical emergency, increased awareness of this complication may decrease the delay in diagnosis, therefore increasing the infant’s chances of survival. This applies not only to paediatricians but to every midwife, intern or medical officer who attends to deliveries and is involved with the care of the newborn.

AJOL African Journals Online