SINGAPORE: A 16-year-old One Direction fan suffered a collapse of both her lungs after screaming hard at a concert by the popular British boyband, according to media reports.
The unidentified Texan teenager, who had no prior respiratory problems, struggled to breathe almost immediately after the concert, the reports said, citing a study in the Journal of Emergency Medicine (JEM).
Tests for respiratory distress turned up negative but when doctors pressed on the teenager’s neck and chest, they heard a crunching sound that indicated pneumothorax. This is when air builds up between the outside of the lung and the inside of the rib cage.
In her case, X-rays revealed that the escaped air had reached the mediastinum, the space in the chest between the lung sacs, giving rise to what is known medically as pneumomediastinum, the JEM report said.
The British Lung Foundation said that air can come from the lung or from outside the body if there’s a serious injury to the chest, according to the Daily Mail. A pneumothorax caused by leaks of air from the lungs is more common in people with a lung condition such as asthma or cystic fibrosis. But it can occur in people who are otherwise completely healthy.
The British Lung Foundation noted that the treatment for pneumothorax depends on its size and whether it’s expanding. Small cases may not require treatment but large ones need to be drained using a syringe or a chest tube as they can squash the affected lung and cause it to collapse.
For treatment, the teenager was given a boosted supply of oxygen in hospital and discharged the next day.
Weight-lifting, diving and military flying have been previously highlighted as potential causes of spontaneous pneumothorax.
Experts from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center wrote in the JEM study: “This particular case suggests that forceful screaming during pop concerts should be added to that list.”
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