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Holding back the sneeze: A man then has to go to the emergency room

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Holding back the sneeze: A man then has to go to the emergency room

It all started with a suppressed sneeze while driving. A man feels a sharp pain. His throat is swelling rapidly. The treating doctor solves the rare case.

Recorded by Astrid Viciano

No one could explain what had happened when the patient arrived in the emergency room at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, Scotland, where I was working at the time, in the spring of 2023. He told my colleagues that he had had to sneeze several times while driving because of his allergy. Shortly afterwards he felt a sharp pain and his throat suddenly became very swollen. The man in his thirties was tall and strong, suffered from hay fever and had no other previous illnesses. He did not complain of shortness of breath, had no difficulty swallowing, and his voice did not sound hoarse or hoarse.

The colleagues found that the blood oxygen saturation was normal. The recording of the cardiac currents in the ECG also showed no abnormalities. The man did not appear frightened and was able to clearly describe the symptoms. My colleagues wanted to know whether he had eaten something special or whether he had accidentally swallowed something. He said no. When they examined the neck, they noticed that the patient had limited ability to turn his head. And as they gently pressed the swollen skin on his neck, they heard a strange crackling sound. Then they called me over; As an assistant doctor in the ear, nose and throat department, I was on duty this weekend.

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