Rectus sheath hematoma is an uncommon, often misdiagnosed, and usually self-limited condition. In a recent review of autopsy cases at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn, we found two patients in whom hemorrhages into the rectus sheaths were considered the immediate cause of death and one in whom the hemorrhage was considered a contributing cause of death. Rectus sheath hematoma should be included in the differential diagnosis of an abdominal mass of sudden onset, especially in patients who have been given anticoagulants. The condition may be fatal if the volume of the hemorrhage is large and if treatment is delayed.
Ducatman BS, Ludwig J, Hurt RD. Fatal Rectus Sheath Hematoma. JAMA. 1983;249(7):924-925. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330310054028