Man admitted to hospital after rare masturbation injury

A 20-year-old patient was admitted to an intensive care unit in Switzerland after he suffered a rare lung injury while masturbating.

The Swiss citizen reported a “sudden onset of sharp chest pain followed by shortness of breath while lying in bed masturbating”, according to a study published in the May issue of the medical journal Radiology Case Reports.

The man, who has a history of mild asthma, rushed himself to Cantonal Hospital in Winterthur following chest pain.

A subsequent chest x-ray revealed that he was suffering from subcutaneous emphysema – or SPM– a rare condition triggered by violent coughing, excessive vomiting and strenuous physical exercise. It results in air leaks from the lung and getting trapped in the rib cage.

It is a condition “that mostly affects young men and generally follows a benign and self-limiting course”, said the authors of the study, Dr Nikola Rajic and Dr Christian Schandl.

“Specific therapy is not necessary, although supporting care and short-term observation for respiratory compromise are reasonable,” they added.

However, what makes this case unusual was that “there are only a few reports of SPM related to sexual activity”, the authors said, noting that they were not able to “find any cases associated with autoeroticism”.

The CT scan of chest and neck also showed that it had reached up until the base of his skull.

The patient was given paracetamol to deal with his chest pain and was kept in the ICU overnight, before being transferred to the general ward the day after, where he remained for three more days before being discharged.

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