Late diagnosis of congenital diaphragmatic hernia: a case report

Document Type

Case Report


Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)



Congenital diaphragmatic hernia beyond the neonatal period is not uncommon. Its diagnosis in infancy and early childhood poses a challenge owing to different clinical presentation ranging from gastrointestinal to respiratory symptoms. These neonates are usually misdiagnosed as having pneumonia until radiological imaging picks up the defect during routine scan for worsening respiratory symptoms. In high-income countries, the survival rate for these patients has been reported to be high, while in Sub-Saharan Africa the survival rate is still low due to delayed diagnosis, delayed referral, and hence delayed management.

Case report

We present an African male baby from non-consanguineous parents, 6 weeks old, diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia at 6 weeks of age after failure to respond to antibiotics for suspected pneumonia. Despite attempts at management, he died at 5 weeks post surgery.

Conclusion Our case emphasizes the importance of early clinical suspicion and early detection for a differential diagnosis of congenital diaphragmatic hernia in infants who present with respiratory symptoms not responding to antibiotics or recurrent pneumonia, and improving the availability of imaging in primary care facilities to diagnose such defects early and manage them accordingly.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Medical Case Reports

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.