Man Suffering from Heart Failure Coughs Out Part of His Lung

Faith Castro
December 9, 2018

A California man literally coughed up part of his lung after he was hospitalized for heart palpitations.

A man who later died stunned doctors by coughing up a six-inch-wide blood clot from his lungs in the near-perfect shape of his right bronchial tree. The man's medical history revealed chronic heart problems and even had a permanent pacemaker in place for complete heart block.

During one of the coughing fits, the man eventually coughed up a bronchial tree, which is a series of tubes that distribute air from the windpipe to the lungs.

Earlier in the hospital in the United Kingdom killed a patient during a simple procedure.

The case report states that his ejection fraction (the blood pumped out with each heart contraction) was a mere 20 percent, when it's supposed to be between 50 and 75 percent.

Doctors found there was too much fluid in his blood and a low amount of blood pumping through the circulatory system. He suffered from the narrowing of the bicuspid aorta for which he was fitted with a bioprosthetic aortic valve.

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According to a 2006 study from Emory University School of Medicine, only one to two percent of the United States population has this disease. Several blood clot casts have been reported in the last few years - coughed up by a 57-year-old-woman with lupus in 2010, a 25-year-old pregnant woman in 2005, and an 80-year-old man in 2015.

The doctors made a decision to place him on a ventricular assist device, which can help his heart to pump blood but may also increase the risks for blood clotting.

The case is documented in the New England Journal of Medicine, where it is narrated that during an extreme bout of coughing, the patient spontaneously expectorated an intact case of the right bronchial tree.

He was extubated two days later, and he had no further instances of coughing up blood, but he died one week later due to complications of heart failure.

It's not the only time the NEJM has reported a person coughing up something unusual.

Doctors at Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham discovered she coughed so hard she herniated her lung, meaning her lung tissue pushed through two of her ribs.

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