Blunt Diaphragmatic Rupture in Children

Katherine A. Barsness*, Denis D. Bensard, David Ciesla, David A. Partrick, Richard Hendrickson, Frederick M. Karrer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Although several series of blunt diaphragmatic rupture in adults have been published, this injury remains largely uncharacterized in the pediatric population. Methods: We queried our trauma registry for all children admitted with blunt diaphragmatic rupture over a 10-year period at a Level I pediatric trauma center. Results: Six children (aged 2-15 years; mean, 7 years) were identified with blunt diaphragmatic rupture (three right, two left, one bilateral), representing 0.4% of admissions. All of the children had associated injuries (4.5 per child), with a mean Injury Severity Score of 32. Four diaphragmatic injuries were identified during the initial evaluation. The two missed injuries were diagnosed at postinjury days 5 and 8. There were no deaths and all children were eventually discharged without sequelae. Conclusion: Blunt diaphragmatic rupture occurs in children with a frequency and severity commensurate with that observed in adults. Our data suggest improved survival compared with adults with this injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-82
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


  • Blunt diaphragmatic rupture
  • Children
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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