Cold and Flu Season is Well Under Way But Don't Stifle a Sneeze Warn Doctors
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
One young man managed to rupture the back of his throat during this manoeuvre, leaving him barely able to speak or swallow, and in considerable pain.
Spontaneous rupture of the back of the throat is rare, and usually caused by trauma, or sometimes by vomiting, retching or heavy coughing, so the 34 year old's symptoms initially surprised the emergency care doctors.
The young man explained that he had developed a popping sensation in his neck which immediately swelled up after he tried to contain a forceful sneeze by pinching his nose and keeping his mouth clamped shut at the same time.
A little later he found it extremely painful to swallow and all but lost his voice.
When the doctors examined him they heard popping and crackling sounds (crepitus), which extended from his neck all the way down to his ribcage--a sure sign that air bubbles had found their way into the deep tissue and muscles of the chest, which was subsequently confirmed by a computed tomography scan.
Because of the risk of serious complications, the man was admitted to hospital, where he was fed by tube and given intravenous antibiotics until the swelling and pain had subsided.
After seven days he was well enough to be discharged with the advice not to block both nostrils when sneezing in future.
"Halting sneezing via blocking [the] nostrils and mouth is a dangerous manoeuvre, and should be avoided," caution the authors.
"It may lead to numerous complications, such as pseudomediastinum [air trapped in the chest between both lungs], perforation of the tympanic membrane [perforated eardrum], and even rupture of a cerebral aneurysm [ballooning blood vessel in the brain]," they explain.
This article has been republished from materials provided by the British Medical Journal Case Reports. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.
Snap, crackle and pop: when sneezing leads to crackling in the neck. Wanding Yang, Raguwinder S Sahota, Sudip Das. BMJ Case Reports 2018:published online 15 January 2018, doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-218906.
Human Malaria Parasites Grown for the First Time in Dormant FormNews
One of the biggest obstacles to eradicating malaria is a dormant form of the parasite which is resistant to most antimalarial drugs and can reawaken years later, causing disease relapse. Researchers have shown they can grow the dormant parasite in engineered human liver tissue for several weeks, allowing them to closely study how the parasite becomes dormant, what vulnerabilities it may have, and how it springs back to life.READ MORE
Bacteria Produce More Substances Than Genetics PredictedNews
Tandem mass spectrometry has revealed that Streptomyces chartreusis, an antibiotic-producing bacterium, releases more metabolites into the surrounding medium than scientists assumed based on the analysis of the genome. They might include molecules that are of interest as potential pharmaceutical agents.READ MORE
Gut Bacteria Latest Ally in Fight Against SepsisNews
Sepsis occurs when the body's response to the spread of bacteria or toxins to the bloodstream damages tissues and organs. The fight against sepsis could get a helping hand from a surprising source: gut bacteria. Researchers found that giving mice particular microbes increased blood levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA) antibodies, which protected against the kind of widespread bacterial invasion that leads to sepsis.READ MORE