A 20-year-old man was hospitalised after a freak accident while masturbating – in a first case of its kind.
The Swiss patient, who has not been named, suffered a rare lung injury normally caused by rigorous exercise or violent coughing fits.
He spent a night in ICU and a further three days in hospital as doctors tried to relieve pain caused by trapped air.
The man went to A&E after suffering sudden chest pain and breathlessness while pleasuring himself in bed.
By the time he arrived his face had swollen and crunching noises could be heard from his neck down to his arms.
Doctors diagnosed him with ‘spontaneous’ pneumomediastinum (SPM), which sees air leak from the lung and become lodged in the ribcage.
They are not sure how the injury occurred but noted that it is most common in young men.
In his case, the trapped air had spread around his body and even up to his skull. In more extreme cases, it can cause a collapsed lung.
A handful of cases have been reported during sex — but never during masturbation.
The patient turned up at hospital with ‘severe’ shortness of breath, where he told doctors it started with a sharp chest pain while masturbating.
His medical history revealed he had mild, untreated asthma and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
An X-ray showed he had ‘profound’ amounts of trapped air in his mediastinum, the space in the chest between the lung sacs, known medically as pneumomediastinum.