Ooh-rah! An Unusual Cause of Spontaneous Pneumomediastinum

Manish Singla, Joshua Potocko, James Sanstead, Patricia Pepper
2012 Military medicine  
Spontaneous pneumomediastinum (SPM) with associated subcutaneous emphysema is an uncommon and generally benign condition. We describe an occurrence of SPM that occurred from yelling in a U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor. The patient describes yelling at Marine recruits the day prior when he felt a pop "behind his nose." Upon arrival to the Emergency Department, the patient was normotensive, afebrile, and maintaining an oxygen saturation of 100% on room air. Chest films demonstrated
more » ... stinum and subcutaneous emphysema. A computed tomography scan of the head, neck, and chest showed pneumomediastinum and air tracking along the trachea, great vessels, and esophagus with subcutaneous emphysema and without pneumothorax or esophageal injury. The patient was admitted to internal medicine and discharged after 24 hours of observation with improved pain and decreased subcutaneous air. Pneumomediastinum is commonly associated with blunt and penetrating trauma, infection, and esophageal rupture. Life-threatening complications include tension pneumomediastinum/pneumothorax and rupture of intrathoracic viscus. Treatment includes rest, oxygen therapy, and analgesia. SPM has never been described as a result of a yelling, and persistent yelling is common for a drill instructor. SPM can present in primary care and operational settings, and recognition and prompt treatment is crucial for these patients.
doi:10.7205/milmed-d-12-00243 pmid:23198520 fatcat:bbd72kvvwrbs5bs3oynsvpiaze