A student was left with a persistent cough after a piece of his jawbone became stuck in his airways following a car crash.
The 21-year-old, whose identity is unknown, went to his doctor after he was confused by his four-month battle with a cough.
Doctors were baffled when cough drugs didn’t work and decided to conduct various medical scans to determine what was causing it.
CT scans revealed a ‘white and hard’ material in his airways, which Japanese medics later discovered to be part of the man’s fractured jawbone.
They suggested he unknowingly inhaled it when he temporarily lost consciousness at the time of the traffic accident.
The 21-year-old, whose identity is unknown, went to his doctor after he was confused by his four-month battle with a cough. They found a bone in his airway
Surgeons were so astounded by the bizarre tale that they published its details in the prestigious BMJ Case Reports.
Writing in the journal, they said: ‘To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of a fractured human bone fragment as an endobronchial foreign body.’
The medics added: ‘Loss of consciousness, such as in coma, can result in foreign bodies being easily inhaled into the airways.’
The patient sought advice Kokura Medical Center in Kitakyush – situated 633 miles (1,019km) south west of the capital Tokyo.
They transferred him to an acute care hospital where he was placed on a ventilator after discovering he had previously been in a crash.
Surgeons noted how he sustained multiple injuries, including a fracture of his left mandibular, also known as the jawbone.
Surgeons were so astounded by the bizarre tale that they published its details in the prestigious BMJ Case Reports (red arrow points to the foreign body)
Writing in the journal, the team led by Dr Kouko Hidaka said: ‘We concluded that this EFB was a piece of the patient’s fractured mandible (jawbone)’
The patient then admitted he had suffered from a persistent cough and a crackle in his voice, known as an inspiratory rale.
Doctors were baffled when antitussive medication, or cough drugs, failed to combat his niggling cough.
They then conducted X-rays and CT scans to discover the underlying cause of his cough. The latter revealed the EDB.
Surgeons were able to remove the piece of material, which was lodged in his left main bronchus, using forceps.
Writing in the journal, the team led by Dr Kouko Hidaka said: ‘We concluded that this EFB was a piece of the patient’s fractured mandible.’
The patient was discharged a month later.