'Bagpipe lung' warning for wind musicians

bbc

Harbouring in the damp


In the journal Thorax, UK doctors warn that people who play wind instruments like bagpipes, trumpets and saxophones can have damaged lungs. They explained an unusual but deadly scenario in a patient who was 61 years old, called ‘bagpipe lung.’ The late man is believed to have cultivated a reaction against fungi and moulds prowling inside the damp interiors of his bagpipes.

Doctors are advising others to be better sanitized. They recommend a routine clean-up of the instruments to avoid the growth of yeast and other microscopic organisms. If a player feels breathlessness and has a cough, he should ponder on the possibility that his symptoms could have been aggravated because of their practice in music.

Many other familiar reports have been documented with regards to trombone and saxophone players facing lung problems. Gratefully, the symptoms and caused were diagnosed at an early stage and were treated and cured at the earliest.

Irreversible scarring


Doctors explain that lung damage occurs when the immune system of the body get overridden. The pathogen that are inhaled cause inflammation, and if is not treated, can cause an increasing and irreversible scarring. The doctors at the Wythenshawe Hospital mentioned that they had an intuition that the person’s bagpipes could be the root of his problems.

The man was a dedicated piper and used to practice music daily. He had been sick for a few years, except for a few months when he went abroad and his bagpipes were left at home. They were then sent to the laboratory to be tested and prove the doctor’s intuition to be true. When the results came back it declared that the instrument was a haven for moist-loving fungi and mould, the ones that doctors are aware can cause problems related to the lungs.

The impairment that was previously done to the man’s lung was permanent as a result of which his condition worsened and led to his death. A member of the Wythenshawe group who had a role in this case called Dr Jenny King said that unfortunately the damage was lethal. If the diagnoses are predicted early and its activation could be stopped then these people can be cured and the prognosis is truly great. These pathogens are in the air around us but are not usually at a high possible standard to create problems.

This type of problems with respect to the lungs is seen especially with those who work on farms and work near or around plenty of mouldy hay. Andrew Bova is an expert bagpiper in Glasgow at the National Piping Centre. He suggests that he would certainly recommend giving the woodwind instrument a swab after every use when it comes to hygiene.

Moisture can settle in the nooks and corners and we wouldn’t want that. Moisture as it is damages wooden articles so a swab would do the work of keeping it clean. Andrew makes use of brushes to keep his blowpipe clean and shares that he also gives a complete rinse with hot water once in six months to avoid any possible problems in the future.

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