Man coughs up part of lung while being treated for heart failure
Dec 08 2018
Even more uncomfortable is the revelation that it was not removed by medical staff, but in fact coughed up by a patient who was suffering from heart failure.
The New England Journal of Medicine shares some of the most unbelievable imagery from the often weird and wonderful field of medicine, but sometimes the content can be simultaneously disgusting and yet mesmerizing.
The New England Journal of Medicine shared the unusual clot on Twitter after it was spit up intact by an unidentified 36-year-old man in San Francisco, according to USA Today.
The patient, who had a history of heart problems, had been placed on oxygen and given blood thinners to help circulate blood and prevent clogging.
Over the course of a week, the patient had progressed to coughing up phlegm and blood, and during a particularly extreme bout coughed up an intact cast of the right bronchial tree.
Georg Wieselthaler, a surgeon at the hospital, told The Atlantic that doctors were "astonished" by what they witnessed. "It's a curiosity you can't imagine-I mean, this is very, very, very rare".
"A 36-year-old man was admitted to the ICU with an acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure".
Wieselthaler told the publication that it was the man's blood medication that made the clot rubbery and able to survive the trip out his airway instead of breaking up, since blood clots are typically hard plugs of blood.
Though it resembles a coral, root system, or some other kind of growth, the above photo actually depicts a blood clot over 15cm wide in the near-perfect form of the right bronchial tree of a human lung, the Atlantic reported on Thursday. Don't say we didn't warn you.
The man was reportedly "extubated" two days after the incident and suffered no further instances of coughing up blood.
Along with blood and mucus, he brought up a his left bronchial tree - a series of tubes that distribute air to his lungs.
Unfortunately, the man died of heart failure just over a week later.