Man coughs up 'perfect' blood clot

Man coughs up perfectly intact ‘blood sculpture’ of his lung

The man was on blood thinning drugs to help prevent clots, the Atlantic noted, also pointing out that this treatment can make bleeding in some areas more common.

A 36-year-old California man has passed away after suffering from chronic heart failure and coughing so severely that he coughed up a part of his lung.

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.

"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.

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.

In 2012, it was reported a 40-year-old in the United Kingdom literally coughed out her lung through her ribs.

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However, anticoagulants can cause problems if a breach occurs in the blood-vessel network, which happened in this extraordinary case; blood broke out of the patient's pulmonary network into his lower right 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.

"We were astonished", Wieselthaler told The Atlantic.

Wieselthaler called the occurrence "very, very, very rare". Blood and mucus came out during intense coughing in the first week but this was followed by tubes meant to distribute air to the lungs.

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

Wieselthaler's colleague, Dr. Gavitt Woodard, a clinical fellow at UCSF, told the Atlantic that one reason they chose to publish the image was to show the "beautiful anatomy of the human body".

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