Man coughs up blood clot shaped like lung passage

​Man Dies After Coughing Up Lung's Bronchial Tree

Man died after coughing up lung after heart surgery

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

The completeness of the clot, once unfolded onto blue medical cloth, astounded doctors; they could trace the three branches of the upper lobe of the lung, the two branches in the middle lobe and five segmental branches in the lower.

In 2005, a pregnant 25-year-old woman coughed up a similar blood clot that was a copy of the bronchial tree, per the European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery.

"We were astonished", Dr. Georg Wieselthaler, a heart and lung surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), who treated the patient, told the Atlantic.

While you can't actually cough up a whole human lung (you'll probably be slightly relieved to hear), as they're too large to fit through the trachea, you can apparently cough so violently that parts of your lung pop through the spaces between ribs. He had chronic heart failure, which means the heart muscle can't pump enough blood to meet the body's normal demands.

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The man reportedly had a medical history that included heart failure; he had previously been fitted for a pacemaker.

Rather than doctors pulling the red, bloody blot out of the patient's lung, however, the man unexpectedly hacked it out himself, as the doctors later noted: "During an extreme bout of coughing". According to the manufacturer's website, it is a treatment designed for "no-option patients".

According to a case report from the New England Journal of Medicine published on November 29, during a particularly violent coughing spell, the man coughed up his right bronchial tree - all intact. 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.

He also had to be supplied with oxygen due to breathing problems.

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

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