Rapid Communication| Volume 41, ISSUE 10, e23-e25, October 2006

Isolated injury of the superior mesenteric artery caused by a lap belt in a child


      Isolated vascular injuries are rare in cases of blunt abdominal trauma, and superior mesenteric artery injury is extremely rare but potentially lethal. The incidence of this kind of life-threatening injury has increased in recent years. The diagnosis of these isolated injuries is difficult, and its delay is associated with a higher morbidity and mortality. The authors report on the case of a child with an isolated injury of the superior mesenteric artery caused by a lap belt, during a motor-vehicle crash which was successfully managed. Correct use of all types of restraints is to be recommended. The diagnosis of this rare intraabdominal vascular injury is possible especially when the major signs are evident, but an awareness of this rare possibility is essential for the outcome.

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