Some organs of our body are very important like our lungs. Without it functioning properly, our body will never be the same. This is why many of us are always warned to watch the food that we eat that can accidentally get stuck in our lungs. This is why we have to eat slowly to make sure that the food does not go the wrong way. This is what happened to a hungry woman when she accidentally inhaled the leg of a crayfish where she almost lost one of her lungs.
Lin from Yichang City complained of discomfort after she dined out on China’s Hubei area just this week. Even though she was already feeling unwell, she did not go visit a doctor and she was just hoping that the pain will go away on its own. She was later hospitalized because of soreness that leads to her breathing issues. A scan was requested and it later revealed that the crawfish leg that was the only 2-inches in size was lodged in the lower portion of her right lung that might cause irreversible harm to her respiratory system.
Crayfish are also called ‘crawfish’ or ‘crawdad.’ They are closely related to the lobsters and over half of the 500 species can be found in North America and nearly all are thriving in fresh water, although a few species can be found in brackish water or salt water. They are characterized by a joined head and thorax, and a segmented body. They can be in sandy yellow-green, red, or dark brown in color. Their head has a very sharp snout and their eyes are on movable stalks. The front pair of their five pairs of legs has large, powerful pincers. These five pairs of smaller legs that are attached to their abdomen are mostly used for swimming and circulating in the water for them to breathe.
This woman was diagnosed with pulmonary aspiration. This is when the food or the liquid are breathed into the airway. Your lungs may gradually fail to pump enough oxygen into your blood. Because of this, you could develop a blood disease called sepsis, or a lung abscess. This means that some portion of your lung tissue starts to die. This can put you at risk for aspiration pneumonia which can be life-threatening.
An endoscopy result confirmed that the “spiky” foreign body found lodged in Lin’s right lung is indeed from one of her favorite food – the crayfish! Thankfully, this was removed from her lower bronchus during an emergency surgery. Lin is now recovering but according to her doctor, Zeng Fanjun, Lin almost lost her lung. He said, “Had the blockage been more severe and resulted in tissue granulation, the entire lung could have been obstructed and eventually collapsed.” The doctors would have no choice then but to remove it completely.
Most commonly, when the crayfish are prepared as soups, bisques, and étouffées, just the tail part is served. For boiled crayfish or other meals, the whole body of the crayfish is presented, different portions like the claw meat might be eaten. The claws of larger crayfish are boiled then pulled apart for you to get the meat inside. The doctors are warning crayfish eaters to always be careful with its legs. Like Lin, it was just a 2-inch leg but it almost cost her right lung.