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Flagellation: a rare cause of pneumothorax
  1. A Akhtar,
  2. C Bhattacharjee,
  3. S Khan,
  4. P A Bradley,
  5. A F Shenton
  1. Accident and Emergency Department, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Duckworth Lane, Bradford BD9 6RJ, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Mr A Akhtar

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We report an unusual case of self inflicted pneumothorax caused by self flagellation with a chain laden with knives during a religious Muslim festival. Despite many cases of pneumothorax having been described in the literature,1 we have been unable to find any of this nature.


A 27 year old Pakistani Muslim man was brought to our department by ambulance after complaining of pain in the right side of his chest. He belonged to the Shi‘ite branch of the Islamic faith and had been practising religious self flagellation on the same afternoon.

He reported the symptoms to have started three hours after the religious practice of self flagellation. The patient had flayed himself on …

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