Rare case of diaphragmatic rupture following resuscitation in a pregnant woman first in literature

Saleem Haj-Yahia, Amro Al Aqra, Kamal Abed, Khalil Bali, Mohammad N Sbaih, Mohanad Al Asmar, Massimo Caputo, Wafiq Othman, Ahmed Al-Adhami

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INTRODUCTION: Complications following Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are rare and usually follows a vigorous CPR or in special cases like pregnancy are due to lack of knowledge and clinical practice of how to preform CPR in pregnancy. One of this complication is diaphragmatic rupture with herniation of abdominal organs. Surgical intervention needs to be planned carefully in multidisciplinary team approach and requires fine surgical techniques for better outcome. There are few reported cases of diaphragmatic rupture after Cardiopulmonary resuscitation but none in pregnant woman.

CASE PRESENTATION: We report a rare case of diaphragmatic rupture in a 29-year-old pregnant patient who experienced a full-blown diaphragmatic defect and herniation of the abdominal organs into the thoracic cavity, as a complication of CPR. Following careful assessment and diagnosis, the patient underwent urgent laparotomy with reduction of the contents and primary closure of the defect. One year follow up was satisfactory. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of diaphragmatic rupture with herniation of the abdominal organs following CPR in a pregnant woman in the literature.

CONCLUSION: The application of external cardiac massage through CPR is a life-saving procedure for the management of cardiac arrest. Common complications related to CPR include rib fractures, sternal fractures and haemothorax. Diaphragmatic rupture with herniation of the abdominal organs is a rare complication, having been reported only once in the literature (Sabzi F, Faraji R, Tanaffos 16:170-172, 2017); however, it represents a serious and life-threating event. Thus, careful evaluation of the patient by a multidisciplinary team and prompt intervention is recommended in order to improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44 (2020)
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic Surgery
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2020


  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Diaphragmatic rupture
  • Pregnancy

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