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".
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.
The 36-year-old had been admitted to hospital with heart failure, but died during his first week of treatment.
All queasiness aside, Georg Wieselthaler, the transplant and pulmonary surgeon at the University of California at San Francisco who dealt with the case, told The Atlantic the patient was initially admitted to the intensive-care unit with aggressive end-stage heart failure.
"You have high turbulence inside the pumps, and that can cause clots to form inside", Wieselthalers told The Atlantic.
The unusual clot is likely explained by the next intervention. But because these machines can also increase the risk of blood clots, he was prescribed a blood-thinner medication. After a ventricular assist device was placed & anticoagulation therapy initiated, hemoptysis developed, and he expectorated a cast of the right bronchial tree. 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. 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. One week after extubation, he died from complications of heart failure (volume overload and poor cardiac output) despite placement of the ventricular assist device.
Reports say the man had a rare ejection fraction deficiency (which relates to how much blood is pumped with each contraction), which meant his organ was operating at around 50 percent less than the normal rate.
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