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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

Emirati man, 69, has chicken bones removed from lungs

The man was admitted to a hospital in Ras Al Khaimah after complaining of severe chest pains and difficulty breathing

An elderly Emirati who went to hospital after struggling to breathe was told he had been living with chicken bones in his lungs for almost a year.

Doctors revealed on Monday that the 69-year-old man was admitted to Sheikh Khalifa Specialty Hospital in Ras Al Khaimah last month after complaining of severe chest pains and lung inflammation.

“He had constant pain in the chest and he wasn't capable of breathing normally,” said Dr Myung-Whun Sung, chief executive of Sheikh Khalifa Specialty Hospital, RAK.

“Over the past year, he had been to eight hospitals in the country and several ones outside the UAE where he had been tested and informed that he suffered from a chronic pneumonia and inflammation of the trachea.

“Doctors conducted numerous tests but no hospital was capable of giving an accurate diagnosis,” he said.

On April 19, the man underwent surgery to have the objects removed from his lungs. Dr Sung said a bone almost 2cm long was found inside the man’s right lung and small pieces of chicken bones were found in his left lung.

Inhaling a foreign body can often go unnoticed and – though uncommon - diagnoses can sometimes be delayed by years.

In 2013, a respiratory journal noted that a woman in Canada went 22 years with a bone fragment lodged in her bronchus. And last year, a 47-year-old British man who was being tested for lung cancer was told he had a tiny plastic traffic cone lodged in his airways that he had inhaled 40 years earlier.

“Many patients and doctors may not notice or link such pains and shortness of breath to swallowing bones or food waste which gets to the airway,” said Dr Sung.

The Emirati patient has since recovered and been discharged from hospital.

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