Aerosolised pentamidine (AP) is used for prophylaxis against infection with Pneumocystis jiroveci (carinii), a significant cause of morbidity and mortality for people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In this article we report a 55 year old man with HIV and a background history of asthma since childhood, who suffered respiratory arrest and died within an hour of commencing AP prophylaxis. Autopsy revealed bilateral pneumothoraces. Common side effects of AP therapy include bronchospasm and coughing. Pneumothorax has been reported in several cases. To our knowledge, this is the first reported fatality from bilateral pneumothoraces. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd and Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine. All rights reserved.