Toy traffic cone found in man's lung after 40 years

Toy traffic cone found in man's lung after 40 years

These symptoms, along with the spread of a bacterial infection in the pockets of the lower right lung, led his team to believe that the man had a tumor, which needed prompt removal.

A plastic Playmobil toy traffic cone was found by doctors in the lung of a 47-year-old man that was originally believed to be a tumor.

As a long-term smoker, the mass which showed up on the scans was suspected to be a tumour, the BBC said.

It was eventually absorbed into the lung lining, where it remained undetected until past year, when the man, a long-term smoker, began coughing and spitting up yellow mucus.

But during a bronchoscopy, his doctors didn't detect any signs of cancer.

The report states that the man told doctors he "regularly played with and even swallowed" the toy pieces as a kid.

It was, in fact, a tiny toy traffic cone from a Playmobil set that Baxter had apparently aspirated more than four decades earlier.

The patient had been referred to a respiratory clinic after showing symptoms of coughing and producing mucus following treatment for pneumonia.

Paul said: "The operation was under local anesthetic and when they removed the cone in the theatre it was hilarious, everyone in the room just laughed".

Because he was so young when the toy was swallowed, doctors say his airway may have been able to adapt to the toy's presence.

In adults, detection can take much longer, yet only three cases have ever gone undetected for more than 20 years, according to the report. In case of infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics and breathing therapy, according to an article by The New York Times.

"His symptoms improved markedly", the authors said, "and he finally found his long lost Playmobil traffic cone in the very last place he would look".

A report by the British Medical Journal on the medical case said: "The man's cough had nearly gone and his symptoms had improved markedly" four months after the traffic cone was removed with a flexible bronchoscope.