A young man fell to the ground due to a collapsed lung after running two-and-a-half miles while wearing a face mask. Doctors say his condition was caused by the high pressure on the man’s organ, due to his intense breathing while wearing the face covering.
Surgeons say the 26-year-old, who is known by the pseudonym Zhang Ping, from Hankou, China, had a puncture in his left lung and it had shrunk by 90 per cent.
Mr Zhang, was rushed to the Wuhan Central Hospital on Thursday, May 7 after he became breathless and started having severe chest pain. He wrote in a social media post that he is now recovering in hospital after undergoing emergency surgery to save his life.
He said that he had only started running after the Chinese government had eased the coronavirus lockdown and had recently increased his distance to 2.5 miles.
He had wanted to wear a face mask despite occasionally feeling suffocating and uncomfortable and had seen many other joggers with face-coverings.
A collapsed lung is medically known as pneumothorax, which usually occurs when the lung is punctured and air escapes into the chest cavity.
Doctors say Mr Zhang had a spontaneous pneumothorax, which are more likely to occur with people who have asthma, cystic fibrosis or pneumonia. They also can develop in people who don’t have any obvious lung disease, and is most common in tall, thin men aged from 20 to 40 and those who are smokers.
Dr Chen Baojun, a chief medic from the Wuhan hospital, suggested the 26-year-old Chinese resident was already more susceptible to the condition as he was ‘a very tall man and quite thin’.
But he added that the face covering directly caused the sudden increase of pressure to Mr Zhang’s lung due to intense running.
Education authorities in China said today that they are set to ban school students from wearing face masks during PE lessons due to the health risks. The expert warned that people should avoid wearing face masks while exercising as the face-coverings could obstruct the circulation of oxygen.
Health concerns for students were raised by parents after at least three schoolboys recently died while taking their PE classes in China.
Two of them were believed to have died on the school’s running track while wearing face masks.