Can You Imagine a bone stuck in your lungs?? Painful? Yes, this is the story of a man who lives in Australia a chicken bone lodged in his lungs for five days.
The 78-year-old man initially went to the emergency room right after he choked while eating chicken, according to a new report of his case. He told doctors that he felt like he had something stuck in his throat; however, an X-ray of his neck and chest didn’t show anything suspicious.
So, doctors assumed that whatever had been stuck had been dislodged, and the man was sent home.
However, after five days, the man was back in the ER- he had fever and shortness of breath, and the most surprising thing was the wheezing sound when he inhaled.
This time, doctors performed a CT scan, which showed a chicken vertebra bone in the right “mainstem bronchus,” the airway passage that branches off from the trachea into the lung. An area in the man’s right lung wasn’t inflating properly, but this symptom was minor, the report said.
But the most surprising question is how did an inhaled chicken bone go undetected for five days?
When an adult accidentally inhales a foreign body, the diagnosis can sometimes be delayed weeks or months — or even years. A report from Canada described the case of a woman who went 22 years with a bone fragment lodged in her bronchus And last year, a 47-year-old man in England learned that he had a tiny toy traffic cone lodged in his airway, from an incident 40 years earlier.
A delayed diagnosis can happen because, if a foreign body is relatively small and doesn’t completely block the airway (which would cause asphyxiation), it can pass into one of the lung, and cause less severe symptoms than it would if it completely blocked the airway, according to a 2012 report of a case of foreign-body inhalation. What’s more, up to 80 percent of foreign bodies are not visible on chest X-rays alone, according to the 2013 report.
In the Australian man’s case, he received a bronchoscopy, a procedure in which a long, flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the lung, to remove the chicken bone. The patient “recovered well after the procedure” and was discharged from the hospital three days later, the report said.