Transection of the Appendix: A Seat Belt Injury

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Blunt appendiceal injuries are uncommon. The recent care of a patient with an appendiceal transection following vehicular trauma led us to review the existing English literature. The presence of an abdominal wall contusion, in conjunction with a typical mesenteric tear and appendiceal transection, led us to conclude that the seat belt contributed to the injury.

Blunt abdominal trauma has been hypothesized to contribute to the development of traumatic appendicitis and direct injury to the appendix; however, only 40 cases of injuries to the appendix due to blunt trauma have been reported.1 The recent care of a patient who had experienced blunt abdominal trauma and a resulting appendiceal injury led us to review the existing English literature and to propose a possible mechanism for some cases of direct appendiceal trauma.