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"Punk" rock can be bad for you: a case of surgical emphysema from a "punk" rocker’s leather jacket
  1. N Lane,
  2. A Graudins
  1. Department of Emergency Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick, NSW, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr N Lane
 Resident Medical Officer, Department of Emergency Medicine, Prince of Wales Hospital, Barker Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia; nige_lane{at}


Stab wounds to the thorax are seen in the emergency department (ED) and can be caused by a variety of mechanisms. This case highlights an unusual cause of injury: a leather jacket with spikes on the back of it. This type of jacket is often worn by "punks" as a fashion statement. We report that falling onto such a jacket may result in accidental thoracic injury leading to subcutaneous emphysema. A thorough clinical assessment is mandatory to exclude underlying lung injury or pneumothorax. In patients with subcutaneous emphysema and an otherwise normal chest radiograph, an in hospital observation period of 24 hours to check for any delayed complications is adequate if the patient remains clinically stable.

  • CXR, chest x ray
  • ED, emergency department
  • pleural
  • thoracic injury
  • pneumothorax
  • emphysema
  • stab wound

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  • Competing interests: there are no competing interests.