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Intrapartum spontaneous pneumomediastinum and surgical emphysema (Hamman’s syndrome) in a 30-year-old woman with asthma
  1. Divya Bharathi Nagarajan,
  2. Malinga Dilhan Ratwatte,
  3. John Mathews,
  4. Mateen Siddiqui
  1. Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust, Huntingdon, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Divya Bharathi Nagarajan, sree.divya.bharathi{at}


The authors report a case of a 30-year-old nulliparous woman with a prior medical history of asthma who developed intrapartum pneumomediastinum with surgical emphysema during the second stage of labour. She was managed conservatively with supportive care and there was complete resolution of symptoms within 4 days. Clinical and radiological findings were consistent with Hamman’s syndrome (spontaneous pneumomediastinum). This case reiterates the possibility of childhood asthma or a family history of asthma as being an associated risk factor for Hamman’s syndrome and reminds us of the need to distinguish such clinical findings from more important and potentially life-threatening conditions such as oesophageal rupture, pulmonary embolism and aortic dissection that can present with similar findings.

  • obstetrics, gynaecology and fertility
  • respiratory system
  • primary care
  • pregnancy
  • allergy, asthma
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  • Contributors JM helped in the planning and conduct of the article; he along with MS identified the diagnosis. DBN was behind the reporting, obtaining the data, conception, design of the article and interpretation of data. MDR worked on the analysis, reporting, interpretation and helped draft the article. MS made the radiological diagnosis, procured the images and provided analysis of the images.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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