Well, this is a first. A terrifying first if I might add. You know how people sometimes cough and say “Oh man, I coughed up a storm!” Well…this 36-year-old man definitely coughed up something, alright.
A California man (who is unidentified due to a study conducted by The New England Journal of Medicine) was admitted to the intensive care unit with chronic heart failure, shocking medical experts all around. The man was coughing so severely that he hacked up an intact cast of the right bronchial tree! Yes, you read that right!
The patient was originally receiving treatment at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and had previously been fitted with a pacemaker. Over the course of the week, the patient had begun to cough up phlegm and blood. But, during a particularly extreme bout, he managed to cough up an intact cast of his right lung!
The right bronchial tree consists of three segmental branches in the upper lobe, two segmental branches in the middle lobe and five-segment branches is the lower lobe. The patient’s trachea was subsequently intubated, and flexible bronchoscopy revealed a small amount of blood in the basilar branches of the right lower lobe.
The man was extubated two days later and had no further instance of coughing up blood. Unfortunately, due to his condition, he died one week later after complicating of heart failure. See, told you it was a first!