Man Dies After Coughing Up Lung's Bronchial Tree

Pixabay- kalhh  New England Journal of Medicine               
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Georg Wieselthaler, a transplant and pulmonary surgeon at the University of California at San Francisco, was in charge of the man's care, and hooked the patient up to a pump to assist blood flow throughout his body, while also providing a course of anticoagulants to help keep the man alive.

The "rare" intact blood clot was coughed up by a 36-year-old man, who had been hospitalised for heart failure.

While being treated in hospital, he started coughing up blood and mucus, which apparently increased the strain on his lungs, and doctors had started treating him with oxygen tanks.

But it wasn't a piece of coral, or even something doctors had removed themselves - it was an intact, perfectly formed blood clot cast that a patient had spat up after "an extreme bout of coughing". Fox 10 in Phoenix noted that he'd previously been fitted with a pacemaker.

"After a ventricular assist device was placed and anticoagulation therapy initiated, haemoptysis developed, and he expectorated a cast of the right bronchial tree", the journal wrote.

More specifically it's a six-inch-wide, unbroken cast of the right bronchial tree, part of the tubular network that distributes air to the lungs.

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"We were astonished", Wieselthaler told The Atlantic.

The clot shows the three segmental branches in the upper lobe (white arrows), two segmental branches of the middle lobe (black arrows) and five segmental branches of the lower lobe (blue arrows), the NEJM said.

However, the article reports that he passed away one week later due to complications of heart failure.

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

Wieselthaler called the occurrence "very, very, very rare".

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