Medical official warns of risks related to condom snorting challenge

A girl snorts a condom in a video posted to YouTube.
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Condom snorting isn't new. In fact, it started in 2013.

Teens are snorting condoms up their noses and retrieving it out their mouths, and Indiana University Resident in Training Edgar Petras said it's quite dangerous.

"The most serious medical issue we can run into when we're snorting any kind of substance or any kind of latex balloon essentially is getting that down into your lungs, which is what we call asphyxiation or choking and can result in really, really serious harm, injury, hospitalization or even death," Petras said.

Petras said even though these stunts are dangerous, they're done for popularity purposes.

"The reason that we're seeing these challenges come up much more frequently is the ease with which kids can both consume this on YouTube, and also upload their own footage," Petras said. "Kids put so much value into their likes on Facebook and Instagram that they can use this as an easy way to kind of gain that notoriety and that popularity. I haven't heard of any deaths yet from this challenge, but it's obviously something we kind of want to snuff out as quickly as possible."

If the stunt goes awry, even tactics like the Heimlich maneuver could fail.

"If you try to do the Heimlich or some abdominal thrusts to try and get this out as you would if someone is choking, it's impossible to dislodge a balloon. It's just too flimsy. These will most likely need surgical removal," Petras said.

Parents are encouraged to sit down and have serious conversation with kids about serious consequences when it concerns risky trends like the condom challenge.

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