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Traffic cone from Playmobil has been in the lungs of a man for 40 years
A man in the UK has had persistent cough for a long time. When the person concerned went to a special clinic, doctors determined by means of an X-ray that an unknown mass had settled in the man's lungs. The experts initially suspected that the mass is a tumor. Fortunately for those affected, the scientists found that the patient had instead inhaled a Playmobil traffic cone that had remained in his lungs for decades.
When examining the patient with a strong cough, the scientists from Wythenshawe Hospital and the Royal Preston Hospital found that the patient did not have a tumor in the lungs - as initially suspected - but the cough on a Playmobil traffic cone inhaled 40 years ago was due. The doctors published the results of the unique case in the journal "BMJ Case Reports".
Patient suffers from airway congestion
The man from Great Britain puzzled his responsible doctors. The patient had an unusual cough. However, it was not a tumor in the lungs, as previously suspected, that was to blame, but a Playmobil traffic cone inhaled several years ago. Even the internationally respected magazine BMJ could not help but ironically wink at this extraordinary case. Translated, the title of the article is "respiratory tract congestion"
Affected person inhales plastic traffic cones as a child
So far, there is no known case in which it took a long time for such symptoms to appear, the experts explain. It seems really incredible, but the affected patient, a 47-year-old man, had been given a Playmobil toy set as a child and obviously inhaled an approximately one-centimeter plastic traffic cone.
Doctors remove traffic cones from the person's lungs
The traffic cone apparently stayed in the lungs for a long time without causing any problems. It wasn't until 40 years later that the person concerned began to have difficulty breathing, the researchers explain. After the man developed pneumonia, the victim could not get rid of his persistent cough. He also began to suffer from general malaise. At first, it was suspected that it could be lung cancer. In a so-called bronchoscopy, however, the cancer diagnosis turned out to be incorrect. Instead, the doctors discovered a foreign body in the lungs - a small plastic part from Playmobil, a traffic cone. The experts were finally able to remove the traffic cone found relatively easily.
Why didn't the plastic part cause health problems before?
The 47 year old patient is now in full health again. In the meantime, his strong cough and the other symptoms have completely disappeared. But how is it actually possible that the plastic cone found has not been discovered for so long and has not caused any health problems? The reason for this is probably due to the young age of the person in whom he inhaled the traffic cone, the doctors explain.
Lung has adapted to the foreign body
Apparently, the respiratory tract of the person affected has gradually adjusted to the foreign body in the lungs. This has caused the airways to grow around the plastic traffic cone, so to speak, the experts say. So the plastic toy was finally embedded in the lung wall.
The patient is back to full health
After removing the toy, the health problems of the person concerned also ended. Since the man has been a smoker for many years, the person concerned and the doctors feared the worst - a dangerous tumor in the lungs. The treatment of the man therefore led to several immediate successes: the problems with breathing, the persistent cough and the acute fear of lung cancer have been overcome and the person affected has finally found a long-lost toy from childhood. (as)