Man died after coughing up lung after heart surgery

It was evident that his health was declining when the patient was admitted

The man was on blood thinning drugs to help prevent clots, the Atlantic noted, also pointing out that this treatment can make bleeding in some areas more common.

The mysterious, cherry-red cast resembled a piece of coral, and an image of it has gone viral after appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine.

During the week of the patient's hospitalization, the man had periodic episodes of coughing, which progressed to one extreme coughing fit when he suddenly expelled the unusual clot.

The 36-year-old patient, whose ordeal was described in the case in the New England Journal of Medicine, was being treated at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center and had earlier received a pacemaker.

The six-inch-wide blood clot that was coughed up by an unnamed patient in the near-perfect shape of his right bronchial tree.

A 36-year-old man was admitted to the ICU with an acute exacerbation of chronic #heartfailure.

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"We were astonished", Wieselthaler told The Atlantic.

When Wieselthaler and his team delicately spread out the clot, they discovered "that the architecture of the airways had been retained so perfectly that they were able to identify it as the right bronchial tree based exclusively on the number of branches and their alignment".

However, anticoagulants can cause problems if a breach occurs in the blood-vessel network, which happened in this extraordinary case; blood broke out of the patient's pulmonary network into his lower right lung.

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.

Even though the man had no further episodes of coughing up blood, he unfortunately died a week later from complications of heart failure.

In 2005, a heavily pregnant woman coughed up a similar but smaller bronchial tree clot.

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