For most people, the term pneumomediastinum may be unusual, but for approximately one in 7,300 people, the condition is familiar. Pneumomediastinum is air that is present in the chest that becomes trapped in the mediastinum, the area of the body which contains the lungs, heart, trachea, and esophagus. My colleagues and I published a study of management of pneumomediastinum a few years ago.
Many different symptoms are associated with Pneumomediastinum, which includes neck pain, coughing, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, a hoarse voice, and vomiting. The symptoms can come on severe or develop gradually, depending on the severity of the condition.
Some babies who are born with the condition may not show any signs or have symptoms. Others may have flaring of nostrils, rapid breathing, and grunting. They may need to receive oxygen to help them breathe correctly until the condition resolves.
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