Graphic content: Doctors shocked after man coughs up lung clot

08 December, 2018, 15:04 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • Clear out The bronchial tree the man coughed

SAN FRANCISCO-A 36-year-old man who was suffering from chronic heart failure shocked doctors when he coughed up a blood clot closely resembling the bronchial tree in his right lung in late November. The fact the clot came out intact and not in pieces is even more unusual.

The patient had a pacemaker fitted due to a history of poor cardiovascular health, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

The unnamed patient was being treated at the intensive care unit at the University of California San Francisco Medical Centre, which was where reports say he started coughing violently. "So with all these patients, you have to give them anticoagulants to make the blood thinner and prevent clots from forming".

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 transplant and pulmonary surgeon at UCSF, told the Atlantic his team was easily able to identify the origin of the clot, it was so detailed.


But blood eventually broke into his lungs and after days of coughing up smaller clots, the patient hawked up the famous one.

"We were astonished", Wieselthaler said.

According to doctors, the clot was a near flawless cast of the man's right bronchial tree. These medications are what caused the patient's blood to eventually break out of the network and into the lower right lung-due to the clotting agents not being able to fix cracks in the system. "It's a curiosity you can't imagine-I mean, this is very, very, very rare", he said in a The Atlantic report.

Unfortunately, the man died of heart failure just over a week later.

The bronchial tree is made up of the trachea and the two primary bronchi, which are the tubes that distribute air to the lungs.

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