• All Purchases made this month instantly go into the draw to win a USD $ 100.00 credit to your HoP account.
 

Forums > Social Discussion > "Firebreather's Lung" or ARDS

Login/Join to Participate
Page: 1234...8
Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Article moved to here
EDITED_BY: Malcolm (1194320079)


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete Topic

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:In this country, it would be something. Negligence, I dunno...

Trust me, you could get sued. And possibly prosecuted, too.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:
There was this old school guy that would swallow fuels and water and would get a candle really going and then put the fire out with water that he had previously ingested. He was a regurgitator. He died of a heart problem and I think I remeber them mentioning that his occupational hazards contributed to this. I wish I could rember his name. It was black in white footage though. Your body ingests the fuel one way or another. fyi



His name was Hadji Ali. He would drink something like 2 gallons of water, a cup of Kerosene, spit the Kero to fuel a fire then spit the water to put it out. You can see it in the 1931 Laurel and Hardy film Politiquerias. And I would like to point out...it is an illusion. It is not real and should not be used as a reference. Knowing fire safety a person knows that water does not extinguish fuel fires, it spreads them. And that while oil and water don't mix, it is hard to seperate liquids in the regurgitation act. I know several people who do the real thing, and know that he was a traditional sideshow charlatan.

Next on, thanks for all the support and such. I do appreciate it tremendously. My whole point was that so much more goes on that the medical. It honestly reflects on every single portion of life, and we don't concider any of that in these conversations. And every day I get people writing to me for advise on *how to firebreathe*, and it astounds me.

I also want to remind that my medical bills (thankfully mostly covered by insurance) were up in the Hundreds of Thousands of dollars. All for something that took a few seconds, so for those who think that fire breathing will pay more for their shows...no show pays that well.

I have been travelling around teaching burlesque dance, tribalized poi and have been giving lectures and having open forum discussions about my accident and I must say that it has warmed me to no end to hear how many people are not fire breathing because of someone finally sharing. I agree that I need no sympathy. I knew that I could die when I went into it. I had absolutely no clue what else could go wrong with it, to be sure, and was completely unsuspecting.

If only it weren't such an easy thing to do.

And to answer the question of would alcohol have been any better. No, it wouldn't. When I spoke with the doctor on a follow-up I was told that if I had have inhaled cola the same way, I would have faced several of the same issues, though not to the degree I did. The alveoli are very delicate and sensative and enjoy sending our bodies into tailspins it seems. Alcohol is damaging to tissues, as Mike said, and would have had similar effects. Mike, to look for information on this, you can actually find out by investigating illness and deaths associated with drunkeness I was told.

Anyway, hope to meet some of you on my travels!
Kindest Regards and Happy Breathing to all!
Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Quote:
Alcohol is damaging to tissues, as Mike said, and would have had similar effects. Mike, to look for information on this, you can actually find out by investigating illness and deaths associated with drunkeness I was told.







I'm not disputing that alcohol would probably cause a nasty pneumonitis. I just haven't seen that in the literature. Then again, I haven't looked too hard and I don't like making a definative statement without being for darned sure that I have literature to back it up. But yeah, it probably would cause a nasty pneumonitis.



So what happens in drunkenness is that people get so drunk that they lose their ability to protect their airway. Then they vomit and suck the stomach acid into their lungs. THAT causes a horrible pneumonitis that can even be worse than the hydrocarbon pneumonitis that you had because, while the hydrocarbon doesn't cause direct damage to the lung tissues, stomach acid does.



As much as 80% mortality.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 3044
Posted:eek *shudder*

"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

Delete

Twirly


Twirly

Shoryuken!
Location: Hexham, Newcastle, England

Total posts: 233
Posted:Written by:
I don't think it is inappropriate or out of line per se, [offering advice on coating gums] unless we are deciding to use this thread to condemn Fire Breathing altogether and make it a taboo subject for HoP.



I mean, sure Fire Breathing is very dangerous, and I myself won't do it (decided that years ago without even trying it once), but is that where this is going?





Yeah, while reading the above (thanks to everyone who contributed) should be enough to put anyone off the idea of firebreathing, you have to assume that people are still going to do it. I mean, EVERYONE knows how bad for you smoking is, but people keep starting. People ARE still going to firebreath, and so its only right that everyone helps them minimise the damage they're going to do to themselves.



If someone went against your advice not to go into a cage of lions, would you turn your back on them, or make sure that they at least took a chair in with them?


Delete

Mags The Jedi
GOLD Member since May 2004

Mags The Jedi

Fool
Location: Cornwall, UK

Total posts: 2020
Posted:You guys blow my mind. Thanks all of you, Dr Mike and Pele especially. I'd kind of already decided that Firebreathing wasn't for me, but that confirms it.

Lots of more fun things to do with fire anyway.

devil


"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Ok, if you type Fire Breathing, does it automatically become that link?

That's awesome.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:apparently not... confused

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Maximus Ego


member


Total posts: 10
Posted:Great post, Mike.
Two other issues: dental damage and liver cancer.
After my first fire breathing session I had two fillings fall out. They cost more to replace than any paid gig, and I wonder about the damage done to the rest of them.
I use the purist ultra-refinined parafin oil I can find, but I still worry about swallowing trace amounts that can cause liver cancer and other internal disorders. I swallow charcoal caps and suds my mouth out with beer afterwards. And I eat foods (like vinegar, fish oil, and dark green leafed veggies) good for my liver and for fighting cancer. But I still worry.
I took up fire breathing aware of the risks. I practiced, took lessons, and trained my safeties in CPR. I still do it. I wanted to do it during our trip to Iran, but the only fuel we could find was naptha.
Even I am not crazy enough to put that in my mouth.

peace,
Maximus Ego


Delete

Raven_WolfeRun
SILVER Member since Jun 2004

Raven_WolfeRun

journeyman
Location: Houston, TX, in my chair, USA

Total posts: 91
Posted:Pele and Dr. Mike , your articles were amazing. Pele my heart and blessing go to you in your recovery, and I'll hang a feather so the wind sends you strength. You're an amazing woman to have the courage to face sometihng like that and still hold that strength afterwards.

I'm going to email this thread link to my troop, we pretty much all breathe among other things. I doubt any of them will stop, I wont, but just the same I think this is an article that EVERY fire bug should read. By the sounds of it, spinning off the fuel from poi could have repercussions. Grant you there would be a MUCH smaller chance, but still, it makes you wonder.


May the flame on your balls not be too hot

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Raven, I don't think that the spray from a spinoff is aerosolized enough to be a true danger. The thing about breathing fire is that the source of the aerosol is your mouth, so you can easily inhale a very dense cloud.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Well, well, well... I just got a page today from the director of the medical school upper-class curriculum, who also happens to be a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist. He knew I'd be interested because I told him about Pele's and FireMike's cases.

21 year-old male, otherwise healthy, tried firebreathing with Bacardi 151 while shytefaced drunk. Spray blew back in his face.

I just saw the patient. He's intubated. He's incredibly sick. And his chest X-ray looks awful. He's being given drugs to keep his blood pressure up. Mercifully, he's not conscious.

So, to answer the question about whether alcohol is a dangerous firebreathing substrate: HECK YES.

Oh, and we have no idea if he'll live or not. Right now it's kind of up in the air. If he makes it through the next few days, then I think he'll do OK.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

vanize
SILVER Member since Aug 2001

vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Total posts: 3899
Posted:Written by: L i g h t n i n g
.

So, to answer the question about whether alcohol is a dangerous firebreathing substrate: HECK YES.




well, that answers that! If he pulls through, please thank him for satisfying my curiosity...

(please excuse the dark humor, but that is my mood this week)


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

Delete

onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: L i g h t n i n g

...................21 year-old male, otherwise healthy, tried firebreathing with Bacardi 151 while shytefaced drunk. Spray blew back in his face.

I just saw the patient. He's intubated. He's incredibly sick. And his chest X-ray looks awful. He's being given drugs to keep his blood pressure up. Mercifully, he's not conscious.



Poor guy frown

hope he recovers.

I've been wondering just what the level of fire breathing severe injury/death annual toll is.

We've heard of a few on this board over the years, but they were generally fire people or performers.

I suspect that there could be a lot of cases like the one Mike mentions that no one really gets to hear about.

I, and several others, have posted about incidents where we've either seen, or heard about, people teaching beginners to fire breath whilst they were drunk at parties; so, possibly, this group could form the majority of tradgedies.

Does anyone know of a way in which such statistics could be checked? I guess the vast majority of fire breathing accidents must pass through the hospital system- do they have some kind of publicly accessible database?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:BTW, this was not a professional performer. Just a drunk fratboy on his 21st birthday.

And no, there is no public database. Confidentiality, informed consent for participation in studies, etc.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: L i g h t n i n g

BTW, this was not a professional performer. Just a drunk fratboy on his 21st birthday.


That's what bothers me- most professionals know the score where the dangers concerned- drunken kids at parties don't, and I can't see any reason why this type of incident isn't going to increase.

I just a search on the net, and there didn't seem to be any type of database of any kind on fire breathing accidents worldwide.

Plenty of warnings on juggling sites, several of which linked to Pele's article here on HOP.

Also, some of the HOP threads on breathing came in top five results on Google.

Which is all good as any beginner searching for fire breathing info has the chance to read some good advice on the dangers.

If anyone does know of a database, or can think of a good way of gathering the data, please let me know.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Delete

Pink...?
BRONZE Member since Apr 2002

Pink...?

Mistress of Pink...Multicoloured
Location: Over There, United Kingdom

Total posts: 6140
Posted:Onewheeldave - thats actually a very good point. How can people who dont know of the fire communities and such know of the dangers of fire breathing? If they have just seen it on TV, and then try it when they are drunk or such they have no way of knowing the dangers.

Never pick up a duck in a dungeon...

Delete

Ali-bird


Ali-bird

member
Location: London

Total posts: 102
Posted:Forgive me if this seems like a bit of a crass comment, but surely anyone with half a brain must realise that firebreathing is going to be dangerous in *some* way? Of course there's no way a drunk student is going to know the risk of something like ARDS.... I guess my point is that I don't see how it's possible to prevent drunk stupid people from doing drunk stupid things without stopping people from ever getting drunk or stupid, if you see what I mean..... ubbloco Fire breathing, driving, any kind of jackass style antics, whatever. I do feel massive sympathy for the poor guy above, but at the same time we can't wrap everyone up in cottonwool for their entire lives.

We can and we must spread the word among those who do play with fire in other ways. I've passed on the above articles (with reference and credit) to friends of mine who have been experimenting with fire breathing and some have stopped as a result. Hurray!

Once again, very thought provoking, thank you all so much.


Why is it that everthing which is fun is illegal, immoral, or fattening?

Delete

polythene


veteran
Location: London/ Surrey

Total posts: 1359
Posted:Ali-bird... it's not that they don't know it's dangerous, but a lot of people are fooled by how 'easy' it is: 'Yeah, it could be dangerous, but it's so easy to do, you just have to be careful.' eek People have actually said this to me, and laughed when I ask if they've read anything about firebreathing (pointless getting a book on it when they already know how to do it rolleyes)



I was wondering if there is or could be a page to print out in the firebreathing section for a worst case scenario (as in Pele's accident). I've read that (can't find where though) doctors treating such accidents have been put in touch with Pele's doctors for guidance, and that even highly trained medical staff can be uncertain of the exact appropriate treatment for such an unusual injury. I don't firebreathe, but know people that do, and if all went wrong, I'd find it extremely reassuring to have some advice like this, reminding me (easy to forget at such a horrible moment) to supply the MSDS for the fuel used, that moist oxygen may be required/ requested etc, maybe even a contact number to medical staff that have dealt with this kind of injury before.



(If I'm being thick and have missed the whereabouts of this article, give me a kick in the right direction? Thanks!)

EDITED_BY: polythene (1089030521)


The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

Delete

DeepSoulSheep
GOLD Member since Sep 2002

DeepSoulSheep

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Berlin, Ireland

Total posts: 2617
Posted:I've personally met 5 non performers who fire breathe and are not aware of the risks. One tried to tell me is that the reason people get hurt is because they get too experimental with fuels while the 'fire water' he uses is totally safe. umm No matter what I said to this guy he didn't hear a thing I said....not one thing. I was wrong and that was it. rolleyes

Another started stealing our parafin and breathing without asking while drunk.

I know everyone's heard of and seen the same thing stories again and again but OWD has a serious point there. Performers tend to know the risks, where as most people don't (I think there's more idiots than performers from my experience).


I live in a world of infinite possibilities.

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by:
I guess my point is that I don't see how it's possible to prevent drunk stupid people from doing drunk stupid things without stopping people from ever getting drunk or stupid, if you see what I mean.....



Ditto.

Polythene, there's no reason that we'd need to get in touch with Pele's doctors. The mechanism of injury is unusual, but the treatment is the same as for any other form of hydrocarbon-induced ARDS: Intubate, ventilate, and wait. (Prayer usually works its way in there at some point).

Sometimes, you just need to leave it to Darwin.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Maximus Ego


member


Total posts: 10
Posted:Another anecdote about fire breathing with alcohol.
I have a bottle of 200 proof pharmacutical alcohol. (don't ask) I took it to the weekly gathering here in Los Angeles and donated some to the best fire breather in the group.
He took a mouthful and blew an incredible blue dragon up into the night sky.
And then was drunk on his ass. He started out stone cold sober and then was incapacitated the rest of the evening.

(Another thing to watch out for.)

Maximus


Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Yeah. Alcohol is absorbed across the mucosa (the lining) of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and of course, the small intestine. It never even makes it to the colon.

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I can't say that fire breathing or that fire fuel has been associated with liver cancer.

This is simply because I'm not aware of any literature that has made this connection.

It doesn't mean that there isn't a connection, just that nobody's looked. Oh, it's probably known to be a carcinogen in animals, but testosterone is also shown to be carcinogenic in animals (laugh it up, ladies...estrogen is also carcinogenic...at least in California).


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Azrelle_


Azrelle_

member
Location: Glasgow-ish

Total posts: 39
Posted:Remember though that it's not just pneumonitis you have to worry about. Incorrect technique can lead to lung collapse when oxygen is pulled from the lungs by the flames and causes an acute chance in pressure.

I was in hospital this summer for a lung collapse (not due to fire) and now that i've had one i'm more likely to have another, hence I am completely giving up fire breathing. I was well aware of the risks whilst performing but still did it. Apart from the regular cases of the squits and parafin burps I never had any mishaps. Nobody I have performed or practiced with has come to harm either.

We are all, however, safety-nazis when it comes to our fire.


Live life the fun way

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Azrelle_

Remember though that it's not just pneumonitis you have to worry about. Incorrect technique can lead to lung collapse when oxygen is pulled from the lungs by the flames and causes an acute chance in pressure.




I don't think this is a risk, actually. Flame doesn't produce a significant suction, particularly not in an open system.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Azrelle_


Azrelle_

member
Location: Glasgow-ish

Total posts: 39
Posted:t'was an anaesthetist who told me about it. One of the journals, can't remember which, did an article about unusual injuries from hobbies, and firebreathing and fire-eating got mentions. Fire-breathing was linked to pneumonitis and lung collapse whereas fire-eating caused partial blindness in some cases through overheating of the optic chiasm (bitemporal hemianopia)



Still, plate-spinning remains statistically the most dangerous circus skill having claimed a high fatality rate from accidents..... mind you all it took was that one guy to fall onto a stick and it going straight through his heart to radically alter the statistics. While fire-performers do come a cropper every now and then, thankfully they mostly survive it.


Live life the fun way

Delete

Igirisujin
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

Igirisujin

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Preston, United Kingdom

Total posts: 2666
Posted:I never realised the danger from fire breathing was from the fuel going itno the lungs, I allways new fire breathing was dangerouse but I assumed it was all to do with the fire itself, not what you use as fuel. Makes me wanna do some further education on biology, my favourite science.

Chief adviser to the Pharaoh, in one very snazzy mutli-coloured coat

'Time goes by so slowly for those who wait...' - Whatever Happend To Baby Madonna?

Delete

Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: Azrelle_

Fire-breathing was linked to pneumonitis and lung collapse whereas fire-eating caused partial blindness in some cases through overheating of the optic chiasm (bitemporal hemianopia)



WHAT? Were they sticking the torches in their nose? The optic chiasm is straight behind the eyes. I have a seriously difficult time getting this one through my head.

Written by:
Still, plate-spinning remains statistically the most dangerous circus skill having claimed a high fatality rate from accidents..... mind you all it took was that one guy to fall onto a stick and it going straight through his heart to radically alter the statistics. While fire-performers do come a cropper every now and then, thankfully they mostly survive it.



Ah, the power of statistics with absurdly small sample sizes. ubblol


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

Delete

Azrelle_


Azrelle_

member
Location: Glasgow-ish

Total posts: 39
Posted:It took me a while to understand the fire eating one too... apparently all it takes is for there to be a small defect in your skull for the heat inside the mouth to be transferred to the chiasm. The defect occurs in 1 in somethingorother people and the few of them who learned to fire-eat went blind.

It doesn't happen acutely from what i understand, more an over time thing.


Live life the fun way

Delete

Page: 1234...8

Similar Topics

Using the keywords [firebreather lung ard*] we found the following similar topics.
1. Learn > Fire Training > Fire training and safety > Firebreather's Lung or ARDS *help/resource system is quite remarkable   the lung is a spongy organ with a total...
2. Forums > Firebreather's Lung or ARDS [220 replies]
3. Forums > Help! My friend got a lung full of parafin! [13 replies]
4. Forums > Powerbreathe Lung Trainer- Any experiences? [13 replies]
5. Forums > Flame breathing tips and help? [1 reply]

     Show more..