Diaphragmatic hernias can be a pitfall for paediatric diagnostics, especially in the cases of late presentation, which can also have medico-legal ramifications as exposed. A three-year-old boy was taken to a children's hospital after an episode of abdominal pain and vomiting of food. A physical examination proved normal, with mild ketonuria being found and he was discharged. Three months later for the same signs and symptoms, he was taken once more to hospital, where he arrived in a state of cardiac arrest and died. A lawsuit was begun against the doctors who had examined him three months earlier. The autopsy found herniation of the abdominal organs into the left pleural cavity through a defect in the left hemidiaphragm. The cause of death was identified as cardiac tamponade caused by mechanical compression of multiple herniated abdominal organs. The histopathological examination revealed marked atelectasis of the left lung, with non-expansion of 60-90% of the alveoli which suggested an acute mechanism that proved fatal, and the doctors were acquitted. The features of this disease and the possible difficulties in its diagnosis highlight the need for the utmost attention in differential diagnosis, even at an age where the discovery of a diaphragmatic hernia is exceedingly rare.

Lethal Bochdalek hernia in a three-year-old : pathological findings and medicolegal investigation in accusation of malpractice / F. Mobilia, S. Andreola, G. Gentile, E. Palazzo, A. Rancati, R. Zoja. - In: MEDICINE, SCIENCE AND THE LAW. - ISSN 0025-8024. - 53:1(2013 Jan), pp. 51-54. [10.1258/msl.2012.012023]

Lethal Bochdalek hernia in a three-year-old : pathological findings and medicolegal investigation in accusation of malpractice

F. Mobilia
Primo
;
G. Gentile;E. Palazzo;A. Rancati
Penultimo
;
R. Zoja
Ultimo
2013-01

Abstract

Diaphragmatic hernias can be a pitfall for paediatric diagnostics, especially in the cases of late presentation, which can also have medico-legal ramifications as exposed. A three-year-old boy was taken to a children's hospital after an episode of abdominal pain and vomiting of food. A physical examination proved normal, with mild ketonuria being found and he was discharged. Three months later for the same signs and symptoms, he was taken once more to hospital, where he arrived in a state of cardiac arrest and died. A lawsuit was begun against the doctors who had examined him three months earlier. The autopsy found herniation of the abdominal organs into the left pleural cavity through a defect in the left hemidiaphragm. The cause of death was identified as cardiac tamponade caused by mechanical compression of multiple herniated abdominal organs. The histopathological examination revealed marked atelectasis of the left lung, with non-expansion of 60-90% of the alveoli which suggested an acute mechanism that proved fatal, and the doctors were acquitted. The features of this disease and the possible difficulties in its diagnosis highlight the need for the utmost attention in differential diagnosis, even at an age where the discovery of a diaphragmatic hernia is exceedingly rare.
Diaphragmatic hernias ; malpractice ; forensic pathology ; autopsy
Settore MED/43 - Medicina Legale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/225441
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