It turns out that the 36-year-old patient's condition produced elevated levels of fibrinogen, a protein that can act as a glue to assist the clotting process, which allowed the rubbery "blood sculpture" to escape the man's trachea intact.
The source of information in this article has been provided largely in part to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine. After previously coughing up other, smaller blood clots, the man let out a big one, and up came this folded-over clot in the exact shape of his right bronchial tree, one of the primary parts of the lung.
The 36-year old man was being treated for a serious heart condition, according to a new report of the case, published November 29 in The New England Journal of Medicine.
The patient, who had a history of heart problems, had been placed on oxygen and given blood thinners to help circulate blood and prevent clogging.
The case is documented in the New England Journal of Medicine, where it is narrated that during an extreme bout of coughing, the patient spontaneously expectorated an intact case of the right bronchial tree.
"You have high turbulence inside the pumps, and that can cause clots to form inside", Wieselthalers told The Atlantic.
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"It's a curiosity you can't imagine".
"A 36-year-old man was admitted to the ICU with an acute exacerbation of chronic heart failure".
"The right bronchial tree consists of three segmental branches in the upper lobe, two segmental branches in the middle lobe, and five segmental branches in the lower lobe", the case report's authors wrote.
"We were astonished", Wieselthaler said.
Unfortunately, the patient who coughed up the curious clot died from complications of heart failure a week later, the Journal said.
The man was reportedly "extubated" two days after the incident and suffered no further instances of coughing up blood.