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29 September 2017, 12:25 | Louis Holland
Denny et al./BMJ Case Reports
How was he able to pinpoint the year the traffic cone had gone missing?
The Playmobil toy cone had gone undetected in the man's right lung for 40 years and was found nearly three years ago by Dr. Mohammed Munavvar at the Royal Preston Hospital in the United Kingdom, according to a BMJ Case Report published Saturday. Finally, the 47-year-old from the United Kingdom went to a clinic-and got the surprise of his life.
Medics originally thought he had a tumour after an X-ray revealed a mass in his lung.
A British man was hoping for a misdiagnosis on a suspected cancer tumor, but he probably did not expect doctors to find a foreign object deep inside his lungs.
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The tumour was a "long lost Playmobil traffic cone" that the man had received as a birthday present when he was seven years old.
A bronchoscopy was carried out to help doctors diagnose his condition.
The miniature plastic cone was specifically from a Playmobil miniature toy set that the man had as a child.
The mailman "reported that he regularly played with and even swallowed pieces of Playmobil during his childhood", doctors wrote in BMJ Case Reports.
"Four months after removal of the tiny traffic cone, his productive cough had almost entirely settled and a chest X-ray only showed minor residual consolidation". They assume that since it was inhaled into the lining of the patient's lung while he was a child, the lung continued to develop around it as he grew.
The patient, whose name was not released, was a long-term smoker and suffered a cough for more than a year.
Undoubtedly, safety standards and parenting approaches were considerably laxer 40 years ago, but Denny says there really isn't anything new to be learned from this case.
Because the man was so young when he swallowed the traffic cone, the report said, his airway may have been able to remodel and adapt to the presence of a foreign body. Often, the children exhibit the same symptoms.
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