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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Rare Case of Hemorrhagic Shock: Morel-Lavallée Lesion

  • Author(s): Claassen, Lieke
  • Franssen, Myriam Anna
  • de Loos, Erik Robert
  • et al.

Hemorrhage is a major cause of death among trauma patients. Controlling the bleeding is essential but can be difficult when the source of bleeding remains unidentified. We present a 67-year-old healthy male with a hypovolemic shock after a suicide attempt by jumping from a height. Apart from a bilateral pneumothorax with multiple rib fractures, a femur fracture and spine fractures, computer tomography (CT) revealed a closed, degloving injury of the back, also known as a Morel-Lavallée lesion. Hemodynamic instability due to hemorrhage caused by a Morel-Lavallée lesion in the lumbar region is very rare and easily overlooked. This case demonstrates the importance of clinical signs of Morel-Lavallée, and illustrates the need for total body CTs to exclude other locations of bleeding and to detect contrast extravasation. This report also discusses the possible treatment options for Morel-Lavallée lesions.

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