Thai man ruptures windpipe by suppressing sneeze in first global case

Photo courtesy of Sanook

In a peculiar medical case, a Thai man somehow managed to rupture his windpipe by suppressing a sneeze.

The incident, which is reportedly the first of its kind in the world, was revealed by Dr Veerachai Jarusachaisri, a forensic medical expert at Srinakharinwirot University.

The patient found himself needing to sneeze while driving. Instead of letting it happen, he stifled the sneeze by pinching his nose and closing his mouth. This action resulted in a pressure build-up in the upper respiratory tract that was 20 times the normal pressure generated during a sneeze. The immense pressure caused the man’s windpipe to rupture.

After presenting to the emergency department with severe neck pain and swelling on both sides of his neck, it was found that he had no issues related to breathing, swallowing, or speaking. A computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a 2×2 millimetre rupture in the windpipe, caused by the rapid increase in pressure during the stifled sneeze.

The doctors concluded that the man did not require surgery. Instead, he was monitored for two days to ensure his oxygen levels and other vital signs remained stable. He was then discharged from the hospital with painkillers and fever medication. He was advised to refrain from intense physical activity for two weeks. A follow-up report five weeks later showed that the wound had healed well, as revealed in a CT scan, reported Sanook.

A doctor explained that the sudden forceful pressure increase in the windpipe while sneezing by pinching the nose and closing the mouth caused the rupture.”

This peculiar case serves as a reminder of the potential risks of suppressing natural bodily functions.

In related news, the head of the New Accident Disease Health Science Centre at Chulalongkorn Hospital issued a public warning about the dangers of the common habit of neck cracking to alleviate tiredness. Read more about this story HERE.

Bangkok NewsThailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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