Grade III Splenic Laceration After a Ground-Level Fall in a Pediatric Patient: The Need for Return-to-Play/Activities Protocols for Individuals With Splenic Injury or Splenomegaly


South Atlantic


Grand Strand Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



return-to-play protocol, splenic injury, splenic laceration, wounds and injuries


Family Medicine | Pediatrics | Virus Diseases


Splenic injury is a potentially fatal injury if left undetected or untreated. Although most splenic injuries result from a traumatic event, it is important to consider if one's history (past or present) increases their risk for splenic injury (i.e., splenomegaly). We present a case regarding a school-age child who presented to the Emergency Department (ED) with abdominal pain following a ground-level fall onto a carpeted stair step. Prior to this injury, the patient had cold-like symptoms for 3 months that were treated solely with supportive care by their pediatrician(s). A transferring hospital's abdominal CT imaging revealed a grade III splenic laceration. The patient was monitored in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) by way of serial abdominal examinations, vitals, and labs. When the patient was cleared for discharge, it was recommended to refrain from strenuous activity for 1-2 months due to the risk of repeat splenic injury. Post-discharge, the patient's Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) serology returned and was consistent with a past infection which was an inconclusive finding. Although trauma is most commonly the culprit of splenic injuries, it is important to keep differentials broad when considering causes of splenomegaly as this may allow healthcare providers to potentially prevent injury/provide appropriate management post-injury and guide return-to-play recommendations.

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