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  #1  
Old 04-18-2003, 03:01 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Air bubbles in the chest

Well, my son's in the hospital.

He's 15 years old and has been home all week on Spring Break, playing video games and driving my wife nuts. A couple hours ago he began complaining of pain in his chest. It got worse, so my wife took him to the local Children's Hospital. The doctor said that she's see four or five other cases of teenage, tall, skinny white boys who, for reasons she's not entirely certain, get a bubble of air that breaks out of the lungs and into the surrounding tissue. Her current theory, based on what the kids have been doing: video games.

She thinks that the kids are sitting for hours at a time, in an odd position, and holding their breath while they play. This combination puts a lot of stress on the lungs, causing the air bubbles to occur.

Why it doesn't show up in girls, or other racial types, she has no idea.

She may also be completely wrong on this.

Anybody heard anything about this kind of thing?
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2003, 03:46 PM
JKB JKB is offline
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This happened to my friend a few times. He's tall and skinny (but not white). He does like video games but I never made the connection before
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2003, 04:16 PM
Insecta Insecta is offline
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I crashed coming off a jump snowboarding in February, and this inexplicably created a small hole in my lung (no broken bones). It felt like I had hurt my back, and by the time I had boarded down to my chalet I was as stiff as a board. Finally, in the night I casually ran my hand up my arm – to find that it felt like it was full of water. Turns out this was air, and it had seeped out of my lung through the hole. It also occupied space in my chest, neck and shoulders making me look very muscular, but squeezing everything to death and making me sound like a ‘stereotypical nerd’. Eventually the hole closed up on its own and the air was reabsorbed. Never had to go to hospital or anything, because my case, although rare, was not a serious one.

Obviously this has a clear cause. But why did I make a hole in my lung crashing off a fairly average jump? One of the doctors I saw said that many people have blisters inside their lungs that usually go unnoticed. He proposed that the force of the impact would have ‘popped’ (?) one of these, creating the hole. Perhaps something like this happened to your son. Maybe it can happen without an impact, perhaps in the conditions your doctor described. My original reaction to the video game theory was not supportive, but on reflection, it could hold some sense. I’m no doctor, but maybe it’s possible that these blisters are peculiar to white males. I would double check that your son hasn’t recently had any heavy knocks though.
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  #4  
Old 04-19-2003, 12:01 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Spontaneous pneumothorax is not restricted to skinny white boys. I've seen it occasionally in menstruating young women of different races. But it is more common in males, especially smokers.

QtM, MD
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2003, 11:01 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Thanks, guys. My son's home and feeling fine.

Oh, and playing video games, too... although we did use our traditional warning on him ("Remember what happened the last time you played too much... now go have fun!").

He's gonna learn responsibility if it kills him.
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2003, 01:04 AM
Carcosa Carcosa is offline
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I've been through this twice. As I laid in my hospital bed contemplating the meaning of life ( Morphine is an interesting substance ) the doctor explained to me that most of the people in for the same thing could pass for brothers; we were all tall, white, thin, athletic, and male. His explanation was that while we were developing in the womb we did not develop as many blood vessels on the lung as normal. In the spots where this occurred we developed blisters instead which could give way and allow air into the chest cavity causing the lung to collapse. I'm not a doctor so I cannot tell you whether or not this is entirely correct.
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  #7  
Old 04-20-2003, 02:03 AM
pkbites pkbites is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ethilrist
He's gonna learn responsibility if it kills him.

God I wish I had a dime for everytime I said that about the 3 teenagers I raised!

The problem is trying to teach a teenager responsibility comes closer to killing the parent than it does the kid!
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  #8  
Old 08-01-2011, 04:12 AM
ashleycase93 ashleycase93 is offline
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Same

I have been to the doctor for the same thing. I'm white, 17 years old, female, tall (5'6"), and skinny (110 llbs). I also play video games for long periods of time. What my doctor called it was Precoridal Catch Syndrome. I always feel it on my left side under my ribs. Usually after sitting in a weird position or holding my breath (something I didnt realize I do until after my doctors visit). He said that it's no cause for alarm. Glad your son is feeling better and hope he has fun gaming!
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2011, 05:46 AM
amanset amanset is offline
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Literally anything can be blamed on video games.
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2011, 06:39 AM
rhubarbarin rhubarbarin is offline
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My doctor told me in 1998 that this happens all the time to teenagers and young people, that it's natural for bubbles of gas to move around in the abdominal cavity and put some pressure on organs, especially during adolescence, and that the pain is no cause for concern. I had it all the time age 11 to 18 or so - terrible sharp, stabbing pains all around in my ribcage that often made it hard to breathe. Never seemed to damage me. And I didn't play computer games much around that age. Now I play them all the time, but it never happens.
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  #11  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:31 AM
anson2995 anson2995 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Spontaneous pneumothorax is not restricted to skinny white boys. I've seen it occasionally in menstruating young women of different races. But it is more common in males, especially smokers.

QtM, MD
Your link goes to a spam site for tires...

When I had this happen as a teenager, I was told that it was more common in people who were tall & skinny (which I was). Any idea why?
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  #12  
Old 08-01-2011, 10:34 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anson2995 View Post
Your link goes to a spam site for tires...

When I had this happen as a teenager, I was told that it was more common in people who were tall & skinny (which I was). Any idea why?
That link worked when I posted it in this thread 8 years ago.

And I've not kept up with current theories on why spontaneous pneumos happen.
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  #13  
Old 08-01-2011, 11:49 AM
outlierrn outlierrn is offline
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Hey Qad, what do you think the incidence of spontaneous pneumo would be in zombies?
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  #14  
Old 08-01-2011, 12:23 PM
Canadjun Canadjun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanset View Post
Literally anything can be blamed on video games.
Even misuse of the word 'literally'.
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  #15  
Old 08-01-2011, 06:14 PM
amanset amanset is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadjun View Post
Even misuse of the word 'literally'.
Bah. The word's gained a different meaning when used in a specific way. Deal with it.
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  #16  
Old 08-02-2011, 02:07 AM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Spontaneous pneumothorax is not restricted to skinny white boys. I've seen it occasionally in menstruating young women of different races. But it is more common in males, especially smokers.

QtM, MD
It was this diagnosis that kept me out of the military service; I was eighteen or nineteen when it happened and I was a tall, skinny white boy. PS, I was a smoker at the time.

Last edited by LouisB; 08-02-2011 at 02:08 AM.. Reason: Add bit about smoking
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