Monday, September 06, 2010

Ew--stuff growing in your lung

Everyone in my family is completely grossed out by the guy who kept coughing long after eating canned peas and had a pea plant twining around in his lung.


Elizabeth Wise, USA TODAY, says getting things caught in your lungs and walled off from the body or infected is pretty common.

A doctor she interviewed had found thumbtacks, batteries, fishbones and other stuff in people’s lungs.

I once inhaled a chicken bone and had to have it bronchoscoped out in the middle of the night. My date and my friends said they had a great time in the waiting room.

Dried beans an be bad for kids—they swell up and can even turn off the air.

Nuts, small candies, food—often don’t show up on x-rays.

Older people are not immune—they may chew less thoroughly or denture parts can zip into the lung.

Those little 3-volt lithium batteries from watches are the worst for kids. Poison! They can make it through the digestive tract—but if the kid is coughing like mad—head for the ER.

You may not have a great a time as my friends did during my chicken bone thing. But you will have more fun than the patient. Always look at it that way.

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