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Research: An unusual presentation of acute diaphragmatic hernia complicated by tension gastrothorax an under-recognized cause of cardiac arrest due to a fall from a height: A case report and literature review

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Research: An unusual presentation of acute diaphragmatic hernia complicated by tension gastrothorax an under-recognized cause of cardiac arrest due to a fall from a height: A case report and literature review

SAGE Open Med Case Rep

. 2022 Nov 28;10:2050313X221140241.

 doi: 10.1177/2050313X221140241. eCollection 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36467014/

An unusual presentation of acute diaphragmatic hernia complicated by tension gastrothorax an under-recognized cause of cardiac arrest due to a fall from a height: A case report and literature review

Selvakumar Jegannathan Paramasivam 1Senthil Purushothaman 2Ali Al Bshabshe 3Mohammed Jameel Eltaher Osman 1Nasser Mohammed Alwadai 4Naif Sulaiman 4Omprakash Palanivel 5

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Free PMC article

Abstract

A diaphragmatic hernia is a protrusion of the abdominal contents into the negative pressure thoracic cavity through a congenital or acquired diaphragmatic defect. Generally, acquired diaphragmatic hernia is a rare, life-threatening condition that usually follows blunt/penetrating trauma or an iatrogenic cause, resulting in the diaphragmatic rupture, accompanied by the herniation of abdominal visceral organs. We report a 47-year-old male construction worker who sustained a fall from a height of about 30 feet height. He presented with hypoxia initially and, after a primary survey, was found to have a traumatic rupture of the diaphragm with herniation of the stomach and abdominal contents, causing signs of obstructive shock. After adequate resuscitation in the Emergency Department, he was rushed to operating room. There, he suffered two very short pulseless electrical activity cardiac arrests. Therefore, an emergency anterolateral thoracotomy was done, and it was extended into laparotomy to reduce the abdominal contents through the diaphragmatic tear of 12 cm, which restored the spontaneous circulation. He recovered eventually, despite chest infections and pulmonary atelectasis, and was discharged on the 28th day and remained in good condition during the outpatient visit. Tension gastrothorax or viscerothorax is rare, but an under-recognized cause of cardiac arrest in the trauma setting necessitates a vigilant evaluation and early suspicion to prevent a catastrophic outcome. This case report emphasizes the inclusion of tension viscero or abdominal thorax as one of the recognizable causes of a pulseless electrical activity cardiac arrest.

Keywords: Diaphragmatic hernia; pulseless electrical activity; tension abdominal thorax.

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