[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 8, 1969

Fatal Air Embolism After Yoga Breathing Exercises

Author Affiliations

Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office Detroit

JAMA. 1969;210(10):1923. doi:10.1001/jama.1969.03160360069025

To the Editor:—  Pneumomediastinum in urban teen-agers may not always be due to diabetic acidosis and its respiratory sequelae (209: 1720, 1969) as evidenced by the following case recently investigated by this office:A 16-year-old girl was brought to a local hospital emergency room in the late afternoon after a collapse at a teen-age dance. The sudden collapse followed voluntary mouth-to-mouth Yoga breathing exercises with a teenage boy in a hall where "the marihuana smoke was so thick you could cut it." At the time of admission there was a complete absence of vital signs. The pale flaccid child (157.5 cm [5 ft 2 inches] and 56.7 kg [125 lb]) had remarkable gaseous crepitation of the skin of the lower portion of the neck. Prompt emergency measures including vasopressor drugs, electric shock to the heart, chest intubation, and assisted ventilation were unsuccessful. Death was pronounced 1 1/2 hours after admission.Autopsy,