Acute and delayed traumatic diaphragmatic ruptures presenting at the emergency service: what are we missing?

ALAR T., Dedeoglu E., Bulut T., Yapucu M. U., Dedeoglu B.

HONG KONG JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE, vol.20, no.3, pp.172-177, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


Introduction: Diaphragmatic rupture is rarely a cause of death by itself. It is especially difficult to diagnose diaphragmatic ruptures in patients with unstable vital signs who present at the emergency service with concurrent chest, abdomen, and extremity injuries as a result of blunt trauma. We evaluated the diagnostic processes, clinical findings and treatment results of acute and delayed traumatic diaphragmatic ruptures (TDR) cases that presented at the emergency service. Methods: A total of 29 patients that underwent surgical treatment with a diagnosis of TDR among 1021 patients that presented at the Canakkale State Hospital Emergency Service with acute or delayed thoracoabdominal trauma were retrospectively investigated. The age, gender, trauma etiology, diagnosis duration, injury severity score (ISS), rupture location, accompanying organ injuries, operation type, inpatient duration, morbidity and mortality were recorded on prepared forms to analyse the cases. Results: The mean age of the 29 patients with TDR was 45.31 +/- 17.76 years with and 20 (69%) males and 9 (31%) females. The trauma was blunt in 22 (76%) and penetrating in 7 (24%) cases. The TDR was acute in 16 (55%) and delayed in 13 (45%) patients. The surgery for TDR treatment consisted of with thoracotomy in 16 (55%) patients, laparotomy in 11 (38%) patients and both thoracotomy and laparotomy in 2 (7%) cases. Mortality occurred in 3 (10%) patients that presented at the acute stage. Conclusions: The patients undergoing thoracoabdominal trauma, should be explained the probability, although low, of rupture of the diaphragm. These patients should be followed up and it should be emphasized that they should absolutely tell this trauma history to the physician who examines them when they present at the emergency service.