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Gastric perforation through a hiatus hernia into the left lung in an 84-year-old woman
  1. Daniel Fitzpatrick and
  2. Mario Longondjo
  1. Emergency Department, University Hospital Lewisham, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel Fitzpatrick, dfitzpatrick{at}


An 84-year-old woman presented to the emergency department with a sudden onset of chest pain, shortness of breath and vomiting. She had a medical history of hiatus hernia, gastro-oesophgeal reflux disease and asthma only, but had several recent courses of oral steroids to treat her asthma. Initially she was hypoxic, tachycardic and normotensive. ECG was normal, chest X-ray showed a hiatus hernia and right middle zone consolidation. Inflammatory markers were normal. CT angiogram was performed to exclude aortic pathology, for which it was negative. It did however show a large hiatus hernia which had perforated and was communicating with the left lung. The patient deteriorated clinically and became hypotensive and more hypoxic. She was transferred to the intensive care unit but died 36 hours later as she was too unwell to undergo any exploratory surgery.

  • primary care
  • resuscitation
  • ulcer
  • stomach and duodenum
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  • Contributors DF and ML were responsible for the initial assessment of the patient in the case. DF performed the literature assessment and wrote the manuscript. ML liaised with the next of kin for consent and reviewed the manuscript prior to submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Next of kin consent obtained.

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