One British man was diagnosed with a lung tumor after they noticed a foreign object in the patient’s lung scan. When he arrived at the doctor’s, the patient complained of a never-ending cough. Since he was a smoker, Doctors at the respiratory clinic in Preston, England assumed that the dark mark was a tumor.
During a procedure called a bronchoscopy, which allows a doctor to look at your airway, they noticed something off about the tumor. Doctors found that the suspected tumor was really a tiny toy traffic cone. According to The Guardian, the patient said that he received the Playmobil toy when he was 7 years old.
The toy was approximately 1cm in length and was quickly removed from the patient’s lungs. Weird!
When trying to figure out how the object got into the patient’s lungs, he remembered when he swallowed toy pieces as a child. In the BMJ Case Report, the patient had no idea that he inhaled one of the toys.
The report reads, “Following the procedure, the patient reported that he regularly played with and even swallowed pieces of Playmobil during his childhood. He recalled being given this Playmobil set for his seventh birthday and believes he aspirated the toy traffic cone soon after.”
Doctors believe that this is the first case of a “tracheobronchial foreign body that was overlooked for 40 years” says the Huffington Post. Since the patient breathed the object into his lungs at such a young age, his airway was able to form around the tiny cone.
After the removal of the Playmobil object, the patient’s cough has dramatically improved and he has started to breathe easier. No word on if the patient kept the long-lost toy.
Sarah is a Hufflepuff living in NYC. When she is not traveling or talking to random animals, she is working as a script writer. Tweet her at @lumpyspacederp