Clinical Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, Doha, Qatar.


Objective: To investigate the presentation, management and outcomes of left and right-sided traumatic diaphragmatic injury (TDI) in a single level I trauma center.Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted during a 7-year period from 2008 to 2015 in a level I trauma center in Qatar. We included all the patients who presented with TDIs during the study period. Data included demographics, mechanism of injury, associated injuries, initial vitals, emergency department disposition, length of ICU and hospital stay, ventilator days, management, and outcomes. The variables were analyzed and compared for patients with left (LTDI) and right (RTDI).Results: A total of 52 TDI cases (79% LTDI and 21% RTDI) were identified with a mean age of 31±11. LTDI patients were more likely to have higher Injury severity scores (p=0.50) and greater AAST organ injury scoring (p=0.661 for all) than RTDI patients. Surgical repair was performed for 85% LTDI vs. 73% RTDI (p=0.342). Recurrent DIs was reported only in LTDI (5.1% vs. 0.0%; p=0.911). Twelve patients died (9 LTDI and 3 RTDI), of them 5 had associated head injury.Conclusion: This single-institution study confirms that LTDI are more commonly diagnosed than RTDI. Exploratory laparotomy is the most frequent procedure considered for the management of diaphragmatic injuries in the emergency settings. To improve outcomes in patients presenting with TDI, large prospective multicenter studies are needed to standardize the TDI management protocols including the diagnostic workup, timing of surgical intervention, and the most appropriate approach of treatment.