Safer wind instrument playing

Hygiene

Wind instruments need to be regularly cleaned.

Trumpeters, saxophonists and pipers beware – playing a wind instrument could damage your lungs, UK doctors warn in the journal Thorax.

They describe a rare but fatal case of what they are now calling “bagpipe lung” in a 61-year-old patient.

The deceased man is thought to have developed a bad reaction to mould and fungi lurking inside the moist interior of his bagpipes.

Doctors are urging other musicians to be extra hygienic.

They say instruments should be cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of yeast and other harmful pathogens.

Hernia

I developed a hernia through playing ‘blow bends’ on the harmonica, so I would advise anyone playing a wind instrument to avoid manoeuvres that involve a lot of force, as is the case with the blow bend.