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[Seat-belt syndrome in a pre-school child].

[Article in Czech]

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  • 1Klinika ortopedie a traumatologie pohybového ústrojí FN a LF UK v Plzni.


The authors report on a pre-school child with a typical presentation of the trauma caused by a car safety belt and termed the seat-belt syndrome. The deceleration mechanism which throws the upper body forward in the presence of a rigid belt over the abdominal region results in large contusions of the abdominal wall and trauma to the spine, retroperitoneum, and intra-abdominal organs, or even the chest. In making the diagnosis a thorough examination of the spine is necessary as well as a repeated surgical examination of the abdomen, because seat-belt syndrome is often associated with small intestine rupture, a symptom which can remain unrecognised at the early stage. In the case of a four-year-old boy described here, two loops of the small intestine were resected for perforation; stabilization of the vertebral column was indicated on the 5th post-injury day because of decompensated diabetes and deteriorated health state following intra-abdominal surgery. In this boy, poor compensation of juvenile diabetes resulted in infectious complications requiring repeated drainage of an abscess of the abdominal wall injured by the seat belt.The abdominal wall healed within 2 months, diabetes was managed with insulin therapy and good spondylodesis was achieved at 9 months after the injury.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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