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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1749-7922-3-20) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
JK and ETC conceived of the study, carried out a detailed literature review, collected and presented the pertinent data. WOK and HPR participated in the study design and coordination and helped to draft the final manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Diaphragmatic rupture due to trauma is both well recognised and uncommon. The difficulties in diagnosing traumatic diaphragmatic rupture at the first admission are the most common causes of latent morbidity and mortality. Herniation of the abdominal viscera is the most common sequel with strangulation and perforation the most serious complication. This case outlines the delayed presentation of diaphragmatic rupture and herniation presenting as an acute tension faecopneumothorax. We review the relevant literature, with particular emphasis on the difficulties in diagnosis at presentation.