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29 September 2017, 12:24 | Darrell Baldwin
Denny et al./BMJ Case Reports
The toy in Baxter's lungs is only the fifth documented case of an object remaining undetected in a body for over 20 years.
The Playmobil toy cone had gone undetected in the man's right lung for 40 years and was found nearly three years ago by Dr. Mohammed Munavvar at the Royal Preston Hospital in the United Kingdom, according to a BMJ Case Report published Saturday.
Medical staff suspected the 47-year-old, from Preston in the United Kingdom, had a tumour after an X-ray showed a lump.
Medics suspected the patient - a long-term smoker - had a tumour when scans showed a tumour on his lung.
Healthy Paul said he initially went to hospital before being referred for a bronchoscopy - where doctors sent a camera into his lungs - to see if they could find what was causing the niggling cough.
Part of a Playmobil set he got for his seventh birthday, the cone (less than a half-inch in length) had been inhaled by the youngster, then lodged in his lung, per the Guardian.
The unique case was detailed in the BMJ Case Reports journal, which explained why a toy ended up inside Baxter's lungs.
Doctors concluded that Baxter inhaled the piece as a child, probably around the age of 7 when he first received the Playmobil set.
The handyman added that he "regularly played with and even aspirated (inhaled) the toy pieces during his childhood". In case of infection, doctors may prescribe antibiotics and breathing therapy, according to an article by The New York Times.
He had swallowed the miniature object - wait for it - 40 years ago.
In the journal, doctors wrote: "He finally found his long lost traffic cone in the very last place he would look".
Four months after the removal of the tiny traffic cone, the patient's cough had nearly gone and his symptoms had improved markedly, The Guardian reported.
Because he was so young when the toy was swallowed, doctors say his airway may have been able to adapt to the toy's presence. Often, the children exhibit the same symptoms.
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