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'We were astonished': Man coughs up huge mystery blood clot

08 December 2018

On Tuesday, the widely respected journal shared a truly incredible case: a 36-year-old man with aggressive end-stage heart failure had a coughing fit so extreme that he coughed up a six-inch wide blood clot. But one man in California shocked his doctors when he coughed up an unusual-looking blood clot: It was in the shape of his lung.

The unnamed patient was being treated at the intensive care unit at the University of California San Francisco Medical Centre, which was where reports say he started coughing violently.

He had been hooked up to a ventricular assist device - used to help circulate blood around the body - and administered anti-coagulation therapy (blood thinners). Last week, a hospitalized California man coughed up an intact cast of part of his right lung, a colossal blood clot almost six inches wide.

Part of the man's right bronchial tree
Part of the man's right bronchial tree

Georg Wieselthaler, a surgeon at the hospital, told The Atlantic that doctors were "astonished" by what they witnessed.

"A 36-year-old man was admitted to the ICU with an acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure".

The man was later taken off the intubator after he stopped coughing up blood.

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However, anticoagulants can cause problems if a breach occurs in the blood-vessel network, which happened in this extraordinary case; blood broke out of the patient's pulmonary network into his lower right lung.

Wieselthaler called the occurrence "very, very, very rare".

It occurred after the patient had been coughing up much smaller clots for days.

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Sadly, however, the patient died about a week later due to further complications involving his heart. 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.

Along with blood and mucus, he brought up a his left bronchial tree - a series of tubes that distribute air to his lungs.

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'We were astonished': Man coughs up huge mystery blood clot