Abu Dhabi: In an unusual medical case, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi (CCAD) found a fish bone lodged in the lungs of an Emirati patient.
The patient’s asthma had been worsening over a six-month period, and she had been unable to find relief from breathlessness, wheezing and nightly coughing fits, despite regularly taking her asthma medication.
A chest scan at the CCAD’s respiratory and critical care institute then revealed a thin, hard body with a sharp edge lodged in the patient’s lungs.
“The moment we saw the image of the patient’s lungs, we realised her symptoms had been triggered by a foreign object lodged in her lung. It was quite dramatic, like unearthing an artefact, as people rarely inhale large items without realising it,” says Dr Ali Wahla, a pulmonologist at the hospital.
Doctors then performed a rigid bronchoscopy to examine the exact location of the item and ultimately identified it as a fish bone that had been in the patient’s lung for months.
“It was no wonder that the patient had been coughing and wheezing. Her lungs and airways were reacting to the presence of what was quite a large fish bone. The top priority then was to safely remove it as soon as possible,” Dr Wahla explained.
The bone was then removed through another rigid bronchoscopy, using special forceps. The procedure was complex due to the high risk of bleeding and wall ruptures, Dr Wahla explained.
The patient was then prescribed oral steroids and a nebuliser to decrease inflammatory symptoms, and a broad spectrum antibiotic to ensure that there was no infection. The patient’s asthma-like symptoms soon decreased, and she was able to manage her condition with regular medication.