Medical Mysteries of MusicMusic News

New Medical Alert: Boy Band-Induced Pneumothorax. That Means Literally Screaming Your Lungs Out

Few species on this planet can make a noise like 10,000 screaming teenage girls. That’s a lot of lung power, but it can come at a serious health cost–and I don’t mean one’s hearing (although that’s gotta be an issue, too).

Rupinder (who keeps me up to date on many medical issues) forwards this article from The Journal of Emergency Medicine entitled “Screaming your Lungs Out!” A Case of Boy Band-Induced Pneumothorax, Pneumomediastinum, and Pneumoretropharyngeum.” It warns of the effects of prolonged screaming by young women at boy band concerts. Basically, they can scream and sing so long and so hard that lungs may spontaneously collapse, requiring immediate medical treatment.

I quote: “Spontaneous pneumothorax has been linked with multiple activities leading to acute increases in transpulmonary pressure (e.g., weight lifting, diving, and military flying). This particular case suggests that forceful screaming during pop concerts should be added to that list.”

The article references the case of a 16-year-old woman with a history of type 1 diabetes who reported to an emergency department suffering from shortness of breath. The patient reported a sudden onset of the systems after she spent a good portion of a One Direction concert screaming very loudly. She was diagnosed with a collapsed lung, treated and released.

Be careful out there, kids.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38413 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.