Man coughs up massive blood clot shaped like bronchial tree
08 December, 2018, 14:58 | Author: Lillian Steele
The New England Journal of Medicine shares some of the most fantastic imagery from the often weird and wonderful field of medicine, but sometimes the content can be simultaneously disgusting and yet mesmerizing.
Georg Wieselthaler, a transplant and pulmonary surgeon at the University of California at San Francisco, was in charge of the man's care, and hooked the patient up to a pump to assist blood flow throughout his body, while also providing a course of anticoagulants to help keep the man alive.
A man has died after coughing up part of his lung, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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".
"An Impella ventricular assist device was placed for management of acute heart failure, and a continuous heparin infusion was initiated for systemic anticoagulation".
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"The right bronchial tree consists of three segmental branches in the upper lobe, two segmental branches in the middle lobe, and five segmental branches in the lower lobe", the case report's authors wrote.
Then, a little further down, you saw the same image, only this time, you stopped and realized the picture is actually of a blood clot in the shape of a human lung. Don't say we didn't warn you. These medications are what caused the patient's blood to eventually break out of the network and into the lower right lung-due to the clotting agents not being able to fix cracks in the system. But blood is less sticky and sturdy than these other substances, meaning that a cast made of blood is less likely to hold together when coughed up, the Atlantic reported.
Wieselthaler called the occurrence "very, very, very rare".
Sadly, a week after the man coughed up the clot, he died due to complications from heart failure despite being fitted out with the ventricular assistance device.
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