Paper| Volume 22, ISSUE 4, P299-302, July 1991

Traumatic rupture of the diaphragm: a difficult diagnosis

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      Rupture of the diaphragm occurs in approximately 5 per cent of cases of severe blunt trauma to the trunk, and the mortality may be as high as 50 per cent. The diagnosis is important because of the high incidence of associated organ damage and complications of a missed injury. Successful diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion but can be made from the chest radiograph in 90 per cent of cases if visceral herniation has occurred. We present three cases of rupture of the diaphragm which highlight the frequent occurrence of a delayed or missed diagnosis.
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