Pensioner, 72, baffled by ‘whistling scrotum’ that doctors said ‘could be fatal’

A pensioner left baffled by a "hissing" noise coming from his nether region was the first person in the world to be diagnosed with "whistling scrotum".

The unidentified man, 72 and from Ohio, US, was also short of breath and had a swollen face.

He quickly rushed to a hospital where scans revealed his lungs had collapsed, meaning that air was building up inside his body.

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This situation was potentially life-threatening.

Medics eventually worked out that an open wound on the left side of his scrotum was allowing the trapped air out, thus creating the whistling noise.

He had had surgery on his testicles five months before to reduce swelling and the wound hadn't fully healed.

Medics documenting the bizarre case in the American Journal of Case Reports reckon its the first of its kind.

His lungs had collapsed due to an "excessive" amount of air floating around his body, x-rays revealed, hence why he was short of breath.

There were fears that the condition could have impacted his heart function too, so doctors wasted no time draining the air with two plastic tubes.

He was sent to another hospital for further treatment but the condition worsened as the amount of trapped air continued to increase.

Another tube was inserted into his chest and, after three touch-and-go days, his lungs recovered.

However, doctors couldn't explain why some air remained trapped in his scrotum and abdomen for an "abnormally long time" for two years after this.

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Medics said he "adamantly denied" injecting air into the scrotum himself – and that his behaviour didn't suggest this was a lie.

Horrifyingly for the pensioner, they were forced to remove his testicles.

Pneumoscrotum – air trapped in the scrotum – is an extremely rare condition with only 60 cases noted in medical literature, according to the Daily Mail.

Medics usually have to create an "escape route" for the air, although Dr Brant Bickford – who documented the case – couldn't say for sure whether this helped improve the man's condition.

"Whether the air escape attenuated the patient’s presentation and led to a more favourable outcome will never be known," he said.


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