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October 1959

Bluish Discoloration of the Umbilicus: A Physical Sign for the Detection in a Child of Intra-Abdominal Hemorrhage Following Trauma

Author Affiliations

Columbus, Ohio
From the Department of Surgery of University Hospital and of Ohio State University College of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1959;79(4):600-604. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1959.04320100066011

Discoloration of the umbilicus and the umbilical area may be due to coloring agents within the abdominal cavity or to such agents in the umbilical area of the abdominal wall. The importance of such discoloration lies in its diagnostic value; the significant, theoretical consideration of such discoloration is its mechanism of production.

In the following case, the discoloration supported the clinical impression of intraabdominal hemorrhage, and was due to the direct transmission of the color of free intraabdominal blood through a thin umbilicus.

Report of Case 

Chief Complaint.  —Abdominal pain following automobile accident.

Present Illness.  —This 7-year-old white boy was struck by an automobile about 4 p. m. on March 16. Apparently, the auto struck the boy's right anterolateral chest wall as he was walking across a street. He was temporarily dazed but was not unconscious. He did not vomit. He was taken immediately to the emergency room of University

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