Man Dies After Coughing Up Lung's Bronchial Tree

Pixabay- kalhh  New England Journal of Medicine               
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You might think twice about the phrase "cough up a lung" after reading this.

The fact the clot came out intact and not in pieces is even more unusual.

In other words, the man was rushed to hospital with chronic heart failure and to help his heart, doctors at the University of California - where the man was admitted - connected him to a machine created to maximise blood flow around the body.

The 36-year-old man was admitted to the intensive care unit at University of California, San Francisco with symptoms of chronic heart failure, and during the next week, had coughed up small amounts of blood and had breathing problems.

Doctors placed a ventricular assist device, a heart pump, into him to treat his condition, but he showed signs of respiratory distress.

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Last week, a hospitalized California man coughed up an intact cast of part of his right lung, a colossal blood clot almost six inches wide.

After the patient coughed up the bronchial tree, he was immediately intubated and doctors performed a bronchoscopy.

"During an extreme bout of coughing, the patient spontaneously expectorated an intact cast of the right bronchial tree", the journal explained.

It was originally folded in on itself, and the treating doctor, Georg Wieselthaler and his team carefully unfolded it, and were shocked at what they saw.

"We were astonished", Dr Wieselthaler said.

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The 36-year-old had been admitted to hospital with heart failure, but died during his first week of treatment.

When Wieselthaler and his team delicately spread out the clot, they discovered "that the architecture of the airways had been retained so perfectly that they were able to identify it as the right bronchial tree based exclusively on the number of branches and their alignment".

The man died from heart complications a week after coughing up the clot.

"It's a curiosity you can't imagine".

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