Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Sudden Death Following Delayed Traumatic Diaphragmatic Herniation

Yates, Adam M.*; Fulcher, James W. MD†‡§; Ward, Michael E. MD†‡§

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: March 2011 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 47-49
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3181ed7a13
Case Reports

Blunt force trauma to the chest can often result in diaphragmatic tears. These tears can go months without being discovered, until a secondary injury or circumstance causes an organ to herniate through the diaphragm. Special care should be taken at autopsy to determine the mechanism of injury of any tears in the diaphragm as this may influence the cause and manner of death. We present a case of a 28-year-old man who suffered multiple injuries in a motor vehicle collision. Six months later he presented with a left diaphragmatic tear and gastric fundal herniation, and died eventually.

From the *Clemson University Forensic Anthropology Intern at the Greenville County Medical Examiners Office; †Office of the Medical Examiner, Greenville County; ‡Pathology Associates of Greenville; and §The Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center, Greenville, SC.

Manuscript received January 22, 2010; accepted June 7, 2010.

Images were optimized by Angie Yates, Graphic Communications student at Clemson University.

Reprints: Adam M. Yates, Greenville Medical Examiner Office, Greenville Memorial Hospital Suit 110 890 Feris Road, Greenville, SC 29605. E-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.