News Worms
News Worms

Breathing easy: 40yo toy removed from lung op 'cancer' patient

Breathing easy: 40yo toy removed from lung op 'cancer' patient

Once the traffic cone was removed, the patient later admitted to being an inveterate Playmobil-chewer as a child.

However, after further tests, it was discovered that the dark mass was not a tumour, in fact, it was a plastic toy traffic cone that had lodged itself in the man's lung.

The weird case came to light when the unnamed man, who was a lifetime smoker, reported a year-long, chronic cough to a local respiratory clinic.

As a long-term smoker, the mass which showed up on the scans was suspected to be a tumour, the BBC said.

Paul Baxter, 47, went to the doctor after he began to cough up yellow mucus.

However surgery to remove it revealed what it really was - a small traffic cone toy which the man had inadvertently inhaled as a seven-year-old boy. "I don't remember eating them", he said, "But obviously I've had it in my mouth, and like the doctor said, I've inhaled it".

"Four months after removal of the tiny traffic cone, his productive cough had nearly entirely settled and a chest X-ray only showed minor residual consolidation (blockage in the lung)".

Reality influenced the specialists to wheeze themselves: During a bronchoscopy, they found the tumor was really a small toy activity cone the patient had gotten as a feature of a blessing when he turned 7.

Breathing easy: 40yo toy removed from lung op 'cancer' patient

Once doctors removed the toy cone, the cough subsided.

Parents and guardians are strongly recommended to seek medical advice as soon as they realize their children have inhaled an object.

Because he was so young when the toy was swallowed, doctors say his airway may have been able to adapt to the toy's presence.

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

"On a positive note, his symptoms improved markedly and he finally found his long lost Playmobil traffic cone in the very last place he would look", the doctors wrote.

"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".

Doctors noted that a case of a child swallowing something taking this long to show symptoms is "unheard of".


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