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Type: Journal article
Title: Forensic features of lethal late-presenting diaphragmatic hernias
Author: Thompson, M.
Wills, S.
Byard, R.
Citation: Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2016; 61(5):1261-1265
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0022-1198
Statement of
Melissa Thompson, Stephen Wills and Roger W. Byard
Abstract: Diaphragmatic defects are a relatively common and benign finding in adults which may be congenital or secondarily acquired. The case files at Forensic Sciences South Australia were reviewed over a 10-year period from July 2005 to June 2015 for all adult (>17 years) cases in which diaphragmatic hernias were identified at postmortem examination that had either caused or contributed to death. Five cases were found: age range 49-90 years (average 67.2 years); male:female ratio 2:3. Herniated organs included the stomach (N = 3), small (N = 3) and large intestines (N = 2). Mechanisms of death involved lung compression with respiratory failure and/or mediastinal shift, and vascular compromise with gastric or intestinal infarction and/or perforation. Diaphragmatic hernias may not be identified until the time of autopsy and may be quite complex entities to evaluate due to a lack of clinical history and to difficulties in determining their origin and possible contributions to mechanisms of death.
Keywords: Forensic science; diaphragm; hernia; perforation; lung compression; death
Rights: © 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
RMID: 0030050081
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.13142
Appears in Collections:Medicine publications

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