Man with ‘whistling scrotum’ escapes death after emergency

A nightmare turned into a reality for an Ohio man who was alarmed to hear weird noises coming from his genitals.

The unidentified 72-year-old, who heard a “hissing’” noise, has been diagnosed as the first person in the world with a “whistling scrotum,” according to the alarming new study published in the American Journal of Case Reports.

The man — out of breath with a swollen face — was rushed to his local emergency room complaining about his bizarre condition, the report said.

An X-ray of the man’s chest revealed that he had “excessive” amounts of air floating within his body, causing his lungs to collapse. If left untreated, this could have permanently damaged his heart and lungs function, potentially leading to death, doctors reported.

Later, the primary source of the man’s strange whistling was discovered to be an
open wound on the left side of his scrotum. The injury, left over from testicle surgery
to reduce swelling five months earlier, allowed some trapped air to escape.

His shortness of breath and swollen face were also due to complications, the report said. Two plastic tubes were inserted into his chest to drain the excess air.

Dr. Brant Bickford and colleagues wrote that he was transferred to another hospital
for further treatment. His condition deteriorated further, with the amount of air
trapped between his lungs and the chest wall increasing, which compelled doctors to add
a new chest tube.

An X-ray of the man’s chest revealed that he had “excessive” amounts of air floating within his body, causing his lungs to collapse. If left untreated, this could have permanently damaged his heart and lungs function, potentially leading to death.
American Journal of Case Reports.

Thankfully, the man’s lungs had recovered after three days in the hospital, the study noted, and after the recovery, the man was released from the hospital in good condition.

He did, however, have air trapped in his scrotum, a condition called pneumoscrotum, and abdomen for an additional two years, which was described as an “abnormally long time.”

While no doctors could not determine the cause, they noted in the report that they were eventually forced to remove both of his testicles before resolving the problem.

The study went on to explain that the pneumoscrotum was likely caused by penetrating injuries, resulting in trapped air.

What is pneumoscrotum?

Pneumoscrotum is a rare condition in which air becomes trapped in the scrotum. In medical literature, only 60 cases have been described. Since the air can’t escape
through the body’s orifices, this air usually requires medical intervention.

Dr. Bickford said it was unclear whether the man’s condition had improved due
to this “escape route.”

“Whether the air escape attenuated the patient’s presentation and led to a more favorable outcome will never be known,” Dr. Bickford said in the full report.

Another unusual aspect of this case was the length of time it took to resolve the air
buildup inside his scrotum, perineum and thighs. During his recovery, the man
“adamantly denied” injecting air into his scrotum. The doctors also concluded that
nothing in his behavior over three years led them to doubt this.

They still haven’t been able to find out the exact reason behind its occurrence.

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