Man coughs up 'perfect' blood clot

Hospital

Hospital

After a ventricular assist device was placed & anticoagulation therapy initiated, hemoptysis developed, and he expectorated a cast of the right bronchial tree.

A man who went into the hospital with heart problems ended up literally coughing up a lung.

In 2005, a heavily pregnant woman coughed up a similar but smaller bronchial tree clot.

The pulmonary surgeon Dr Georg Wieselthaler told The Atlantic when he carefully spread out the clot, realising it was the ideal shape, he was "astonished".

The anti-coagulants the man was taking forced blood out of his pulmonary system and into his right lung. He later died of complications of heart failure. His medical history included heart failure with an ejection fraction of 20%, bioprosthetic aortic-valve replacement for bicuspid aortic stenosis, endovascular stenting of an aortic aneurysm, and placement of a permanent pacemaker for complete heart block.

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Doctors are bewildered as to how an extraordinarily shaped blood clot came out of a patient. According to the manufacturer's website, it is a treatment designed for "no-option patients".

The six-inch-wide blood clot that was coughed up by an unnamed patient in the near-perfect shape of his right bronchial tree. But because these machines can also increase the risk of blood clots, he was prescribed a blood-thinner medication.

After his extreme cough, doctors performed a bronchoscopy and intubated the man immediately, and discovered some blood in the basilar branches of his lung. In other words, it was a mold (cast) made of clotted blood in the shape of the lung's branched airway passages known as bronchi.

It came from a 36-year-old man with end-stage heart failure who spat out the medical anomaly in one piece during a coughing fit in hospital.

After this episode, he ceased coughing up blood, and his tubes were removed a couple days later.

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