Earlier this week the New England Journal of Medicine tweeted a photo of what looked like a handsome piece of bright red coral to their 545,000 followers.
A California man with a history of heart problems had a coughing fit so extreme, doctors say, he coughed up a red object that looked like a plant; it was a blood clot perfectly shaped like 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. "So with all these patients, you have to give them anticoagulants to make the blood thinner and prevent clots from forming".
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".
"A 36-year-old man was admitted to the ICU with an acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure".
After coughing up part of his lung, the patient was immediately intubated and doctors performed a bronchoscopy, which is a test that allows them to examine airways.
The right bronchial tree consists of three segmental branches in the upper lobe (blue arrows), two segmental branches in the middle lobe (white arrows), and five segmental branches in the lower lobe (black arrows).
"We were astonished", Wieselthaler said.
It occurred after the patient had been coughing up much smaller clots for days. "It's a curiosity you can't imagine-I mean, this is very, very, very rare".
A week later, the man died from complications of heart failure.
The woman suffered from asthma, and and after two weeks of particularly harsh coughing, herniating her lung so it slipped through her ribs.
The man coughed up the right bronchial tree.
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