Swallowed Playmobil traffic cone 'in man's lung for 40 years'

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He said: "Kids eat things and I obviously chewed on my toys".

A United Kingdom man who suddenly started feeling unwell and coughed up mucus was rushed to hospital for tests over fears he had lung cancer.

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

The unnamed man believes he inhaled this plastic traffic cone shortly after he received it as a birthday gift. "There have been one or two other things but nothing quite like this".

Paul Baxter was coughing.

"For example, during childhood it may have been absorbed into the mucosal lining of the bronchus which developed around it", they wrote.

"We are really pleased for him".

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

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The 1cm cone was removed with biopsy foreceps.

"It has come out in flawless working order, you can even still see the markings".

Only four cases in history saw symptoms take more than 20 years to develop, according to CBS News. "I was in hospital in 2004 with a brain abscess and had an MRI scan but again nothing was picked up", Baxter added. I had pneumonia when I was 18 and nothing was picked up then.

Children have been known to accidentally inhale small toys but in most cases, doctors are able to diagnose it within a week.

"On a positive note his symptoms improved markedly and he finally found his long lost Playmobil traffic cone in the very last place he would look", the doctors concluded.

It was the first time, the authors noted in the report, that a case had been reported in which a foreign object had been unknowingly lodged in someone's airways for such a long period of time.

Any symptoms would have been further masked when the patient started smoking, the doctors said.

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.

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