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Rare disease
Spontaneous subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum during second stage of labour


A 27-year-old healthy primigravida presented with spontaneous labour at 40 weeks gestation and proceeded to an unassisted vaginal delivery of a 3.2 kg infant. She immediately developed swelling in the neck and facial area associated with pleuritic chest pain. There was palpable crepitus throughout her anterior chest wall and neck. CT confirmed pneumomediastinum. She was managed with oxygen and analgesia in the intensive care unit and subsequently discharged with resolution of her symptoms. Postpartum pneumomediastinum with subcutaneous emphysema is treated conservatively after cardiac and embolic causes have been excluded; however, there is no consensus on the management of subsequent pregnancies.

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