Man's lung lump turns out to be plastic toy

by Jared Lewis September 29, 2017, 0:25
Man's lung lump turns out to be plastic toy

The miniature plastic cone was specifically from a Playmobil miniature toy set that the man had as a child.

During a diagnostic procedure, doctors in the United Kingdom, who have documented the case in the British medical journal BMJ Case Reports, discovered a "mustard coloured foreign body" in the lung. The doctor noticed extensive shadowing and a thickening lump in the lower right lung.

According to the BBC, doctors reported the oddity in the British Medical Journal, in part because they were surprised the traffic cone had stayed undetected for so long.

How was he able to pinpoint the year the traffic cone had gone missing? He also admitted that he was eating his toys, and apparently, the toy cone entered his windpipe without him noticing it. If the airway remained blocked, there would be an increased risk for harsher infections, pneumonia and scarring of the lungs, all of which could contribute to respiratory failure.

Although it is not uncommon for kids to swallow or inhale small toy pieces, it is the first time they hear of a case in which symptoms begin to appear after so many years, the health workers wrote.

Any symptoms would have been further masked when the patient started smoking, the doctors said.

For more than a year, he had a nagging cough.

Four months after the cone was removed, the patient's cough had almost cleared and his other symptoms had improved.

He had swallowed the miniature object - wait for it - 40 years ago.

But "going down breathing tubes is uncommon, it is actually rare", Munavvar noted.

"If the child chokes on (an) object and develops a chronic cough, that's when you should worry".

"He may have had symptoms as a child at the time it was aspirated - cough, chest pain, etc. - but these were put down to a transient illness".

Common symptoms that mimic TFB in children include irritation of the airway, asthma, pneumonia and excess production of mucous. "Long-standing cases of TFB aspiration during childhood presenting in an adult have rarely been reported".

Baxter said he didn't recall how it happened.

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