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J Pediatr Surg. 2011 Feb;46(2):402-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2010.08.052.

Hydrostatic rectosigmoid perforation: a rare personal watercraft injury.

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Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta.


Personal watercrafts (PWC), also known as jet skis, seadoos, and wave-runners have risen in popularity since their introduction in the 1970s. Hydrostatic rectal injury is a rare presentation of passengers thrown off a PWC. The perforation of the rectum is owing to the excessive hydrostatic force of water exerted through the anal canal. We present the first case of rectosigmoid perforation secondary to PWC hydrostatic injury in Canada. A 14-year-old female passenger presented to the pediatric trauma center with severe abdominal pain and blood per rectum following a fall off the back of a PWC at a local lake. Computed tomography of the abdomen and pelvis demonstrated a laceration in the anterolateral rectal wall at the rectosigmoid junction with associated free intra-peritoneal air and profuse free fluid. At exploratory laparotomy, a full thickness perforation was identified at the rectosigmoid junction. The rectum was oversewn as a Hartman pouch, and a proximal end colostomy was performed to divert the fecal stream. Management of traumatic pediatric rectal injuries involves detailed perineal examination with proctoscopy, and if warranted, exploratory laparotomy. Despite the rare occurrence of hydrostatic rectal perforations in Canada, it is a serious and potentially devastating injury. In the United States, the National Transportation Safety Board recommends wet suit bottoms for all pediatric PWC operators and passengers. In Canada, similar recommendations have not been made. The use of PWC in Canada is less common than in the US. However, it is steadily increasing, especially on local lakes. Education regarding potential injuries and prevention is recommended.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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