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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2012, Article ID 242579, 3 pages
Case Report

Bilateral Spontaneous Pneumothorax, Pneumomediastinum, and Subcutaneous Emphysema: Rare and Fatal Complications of Asthma

1Department of Emergency Medicine, Adana State Hospital, Adana, Turkey
2Department of Cardiology, Adana State Hospital, Adana, Turkey
3Department of Thoracic Surgery, Adana State Hospital, Adana, Turkey
4Department of Radiology, Adana State Hospital, Adana, Turkey
5Department of Emergency Medicine, Afyon Kocatepe University, Afyonkarahisar, Turkey

Received 15 November 2012; Accepted 5 December 2012

Academic Editors: P. Del Rio and J. D. Lin

Copyright © 2012 Zeynep Karakaya et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Simultaneous bilateral spontaneous pneumothorax (SBSP) and pneumomediastinum are complications rarely observed synchronously during an acute asthma attack. It is a clinical condition that manifests itself with serious respiratory distress and must be rapidly diagnosed and treated. Although bilateral spontaneous pneumothorax has already been reported in asthma patients in the literature, its concurrence with subcutaneous emphysema and pneumomediastinum is extremely rare except for iatrogenic conditions. By sharing this case about a 39-year-old patient who presented to the emergency room with severe respiratory distress and developed cardiopulmonary arrest during his physical examination, our aim is to emphasize that a rapid diagnosis and treatment by the emergency physicians is the only way for survival in these patients.