Doctors remove eight-inch blood clot from a man's LUNG

The blood clot moulded into the shape of a man’s AIRWAYS: Doctors release grim picture of the eight-inch mass from hospitalised patient’s lungs

  • The man was treated at a hospital in London after arriving with back pain
  • Doctors discovered the giant blood clot was inside the 64-year-old’s airways
  • He also had bowel cancer and an infection in his heart and he later died 

Doctors who removed an eight-inch-long blood clot from a man’s lung discovered it had moulded into the shape of his airways.

The grotesque clot was pulled out on the end of a breathing tube which had been placed in the 64-year-old’s lung.

It wasn’t a part of his lung but instead a clumped together blob of blood which had assumed the shape of the tubes it was formed inside. 

During his spell in hospital he became critically ill and then died when his life support was turned off while he was there.

The patient was treated at a hospital in London. He had been taken in with  back pain and doctors discovered his lungs were failing – after they put a breathing tube in to help them work a scan revealed this giant blood clot had become stuck to the end of it

Medics at a London NHS hospital run by the Imperial College Healthcare trust revealed the man’s illness in a case report.

They said he had arrived at hospital complaining of back pain, fever and a general feeling of illness.

Doctors quickly noticed he had ‘profoundly’ low blood pressure and he was taken into intensive care because his lungs were failing.

Scans revealed the man had a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot in the lungs – and fluid building up in the membranes which surround the lungs inside the chest.

They drained his chest and removed a ‘large volume’ of fluids, but within minutes the man took a sudden turn for the worse and started coughing up blood.

A bronchoscopy then revealed there was a ‘large pale blood clot’ stuck to the breathing tube the staff had put in the man’s lung to help him breathe.

The build-up is known as a blood clot bronchial cast because it’s a clot which is cast into the shape of the airway in which it builds up. 

‘Despite multiple attempts, this could not be removed by suction,’ the doctors, led by Dr Charles Coughlan, wrote in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

To remove the blood clot, medics sedated and paralysed the patient and pulled out the breathing tube.

The clot measured 7.8ins (20cm) long and was shaped like the inside of a lung with five branches coming off the side of it.

The man’s breathing improved ‘immediately’, the doctors said, but he remained critically ill.

Tests during the course of his hospital stay had shown the man – who had already had a heart valve replacement – was also suffering from bowel cancer, septic shock, MRSA, a bacterial infection and an infection in his heart tissue.

Doctors refused to decided not to operate on him any more because he was so ill and, with his family’s permission, turned off his life support. 


A California man literally coughed up part of his lung after he was hospitalized for heart palpitations.

In a case report from the New England Journal of Medicine, surgeons from the University of California San Francisco Medical Center presented the case of a 36-year-old patient who was admitted to the ICU with chronic heart failure.

Due to his history of poor cardiovascular health, he’d had a pacemaker implanted in case his heart became completely blocked.

However, throughout his first week in the hospital, he coughed up blood and mucus and, during an intense coughing spell, he managed to cough up an intact cast of the bronchial tree before he died the following week.  

During the week after the man was admitted to the hospital, he was coughing up blood and mucus, putting strain on his lungs.

In a case report, a 36-year-old California man managed to cough up an intact cast of the right bronchial tree of his lung (pictured) after he was admitted to the hospital for chronic heart failure

Doctors needed to increasingly supply him with supplemental oxygen to help him cope.

And during a particularly violent coughing spell he spontaneously coughed up an intact cast of his right bronchial tree.

The trachea and the two primary bronchi are called the bronchial tree. The tubes that make up the bronchial tree distribute air to the lungs. 

Human lungs are too large to fit through the trachea, so it is not possible to cough up an entire lung.

However, it is possible to have such an extreme bout of coughing that the lung pops through the spaces in between the ribs and parts of it are subsequently coughed up.  

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