Graphic content: Doctors shocked after man coughs up lung clot

The blood clot coughed up by the man

But because these machines can also increase the risk of blood clots, he was prescribed a blood-thinner medication.

A man being treated in hospital for heart failure at 36 died after coughing up part of his lung.

During the week, he had been coughing up blood and mucus, increasing the strain on his lungs.

"After a ventricular assist device was placed and anticoagulation therapy initiated, haemoptysis developed, and he expectorated a cast of the right bronchial tree", the journal wrote. The patient's trachea was subsequently intubated, and flexible bronchoscopy revealed a small amount of blood in the basilar branches of the right lower lobe.

The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) posted a picture on Twitter of a coughed up blood clot in the shape of a patient's right lung's bronchial tree.

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It was originally folded in on itself, and the treating doctor, Georg Wieselthaler and his team carefully unfolded it, and were shocked at what they saw. And, during a rather extreme hack, he coughed up "an intact cast of the right bronchial tree".

Wieselthaler called the occurrence "very, very, very rare".

Reports say the man had a rare ejection fraction deficiency (which relates to how much blood is pumped with each contraction), which meant his organ was operating at around 50 percent less than the normal rate.

This kind of clot isn't unheard of in patients, but what was unusual was how intact it was. One week after extubation, he died from complications of heart failure (volume overload and poor cardiac output) despite placement of the ventricular assist device.

Wieselthaler's colleague, Dr. Gavitt Woodard, a clinical fellow at UCSF, told the Atlantic that one reason they made a decision to publish the image was to show the "beautiful anatomy of the human body".

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