Intended for healthcare professionals


Bagpipe perils . . . and other stories

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 11 October 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k4161

Chronic cough in a bagpipe player

Extensive investigation of a 34 year old Swiss man who complained of a chronic cough found no respiratory abnormality except for airway hypersensitivity in a methacholine test (Gut doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2017-315420). His symptoms were exacerbated by his hobby of playing the bagpipes, and oesophageal manometry revealed that, when he was playing, intra-abdominal pressure became so high that it caused gastro-oesophageal reflux. Treatment was not acid suppression but reconstruction of the bagpipes with softer reeds and a smaller bag, which he was able to keep inflated with a lower intra-abdominal pressure.

Golf for older people

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