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Aviat Space Environ Med. 2007 Apr;78(4):435-9.

Pneumopericardium and pneumomediastinum in a passenger on a commercial flight.

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  • 1RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine, RAF Henlow, UK.


Pneumopericardium and pneumomediastinum are rare presentations seen most commonly in the context of chest trauma or mechanical ventilation. Here we present a case of a spontaneous pneumopericardium and pneumomediastinum, which occurred in a young man with a recent coryzal illness and multiple Valsalva maneuvers in flight. Although the etiology of pneumopericardium and pneumomediastinum are well described in the literature, possible acute risks to flight personnel have not been previously documented.

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