Toy traffic cone found in man's lung after 40 years

Toy traffic cone found in man's lung after 40 years
Photo credit: BMJ

A toy traffic cone has been removed from a man's lung 40 years after he swallowed it.

Medical staff suspected the 47-year-old, from Preston in the UK, had a tumour after an X-ray showed a lump.

They performed a bronchoscopy to see inside his lung and discovered it was a "long-lost Playmobil traffic cone" the man inhaled as a seven-year-old.

Doctors believe it's possible the cone became absorbed into the lining of his lung, and his airway adapted to it being there, according to a case study published in the British Medical Journal.

The man went to the doctor seeking advice about a cough he'd had for over a year.

The BMJ said while it's relatively common for children to inhale small objects, "a case in which the onset of symptoms occurs so long after initial aspiration is unheard of".

It's now been four months since the toy was removed.

"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," doctors said.