12 June 2017

Subcutaneous emphysema

An impressive xray of an affected hedgehog.
An RSPCA spokesperson said balloon syndrome can be caused by a traumatic event, like an injury, or underlying infection, which releases gas into the cavity under the hedgehog's skin. Treatment requires the skin to be punctured and a course of medication.

The large 1kg (2.2lb) hedgehog has been transferred to the RSPCA's Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Nantwich, Cheshire, where he will be thoroughly examined under general anaesthetic and more air released.
In humans a severe case of SQE can lead to ventilatory impairment and even thermal instability because of an inability to dissipate body heat.


  1. In nursing, we call this "rice krispies", because when you palpate the affected area, you can feel the gas "popping".

  2. I had to learn about SQE when I took SCUBA classes in the 1970s; it can happen to divers.


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