BETWEEN 1948 and 1966, the incidence of congenital diaphragmatic hernias at the John Gaston Hospital in Memphis, Tenn, has been 1/7,000 live births. The total number of cases at the teaching hospitals associated with the University of Tennessee averaged approximately two cases per year during this interval; thus, the condition is uncommon even in large medical centers. When a massive congenital diaphragmatic herniation presents as a respiratory emergency immediately after birth, the welfare of the infant is wholly dependent upon the prompt recognition and competent early management by the physician who attends the birth of the infant. In this study 12% of all patients died soon after birth before corrective surgical action could take place.
The purpose of this study is to review the cases of congenital diaphragmatic hernias at the University of Tennessee teaching hospitals in Memphis in order to review the causes of mortality and to identify the