A 47-year-old British man who was being investigated for bronchial carcinoma had to cheer about something, doctors found a tiny Playmobil plastic traffic cone lodged in his airways. The patient sought help from his doctor for symptoms of cough with expectoration suspecting pneumonia. He was an ex-smoker and had smoked about a pack a day for 30 years
An X-ray Chest of the patient was done in which the doctors discovered a mass in right lung that significantly reducing the lung volume. It appeared to be a malignant tumour but on bronchoscopy, it was found that there was a foreign body lodged in his lung which was removed with forceps. On Closer inspection, it turned out to be a plastic toy traffic cone.
On interrogation, the patient recalled that he used to play with toys during his childhood and had swallowed pieces of Playmobil and probably aspirated the toy traffic cone then. He recollected that 40 years earlier, his seventh birthday the playset had been given to him. The case has been published in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
The symptoms of patient of a persistent cough improved markedly after four months of removal of foreign body and the consolidation of his lung also cleared.
Dr. Nicholas Denny, the main author states that Tracheobronchial foreign body (TFB) aspiration is a common occurrence in children compared with adults. Long-standing cases of TFB aspiration during childhood presenting in an adult have rarely been reported. We report the unique case of an endobronchial Playmobil traffic cone that went undetected for 40 years and presented as a suspected bronchogenic carcinoma. This was subsequently removed successfully with flexible bronchoscopy. To our knowledge, this is the first case of a TFB that was overlooked this length of time.
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Dr. Kamal Kant Kohli
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