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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Man's tongue turned black and became so swollen it blocked his airway, making his heart stop twice (Graphic photos)

A man had to be admitted to a hospital after his tongue swelled up and turned black because of a blood clotting disorder.

The unnamed man's tongue swelled so much that it blocked his airways and when doctors tried to help him breathe his heart stopped twice.

The injury was caused by haemophilia, an illness which makes the body unable to clot blood on its own and triggers life-threatening bleeding.


He was first admitted to hospital because he was struggling to speak or swallow, and his wife had noticed darkness on his tongue, Daily Mail reports. Doctors treated him at Mie University Hospital in the Japanese city of Tsu, about 400km south of Tokyo.

"His tongue was extremely swollen, dark purple in color, and protruded from his mouth," the medics, led by Dr Yuki Kageyama, wrote in a case report.


Doctors gave him drugs to help the body clot and stop the bleeding itself but the man's tongue just got bigger and more bloody as time went on. He started struggling to breathe and was admitted to intensive care, where medics tried to put a tube down his windpipe to help him breathe. But while they were trying to do so the patient "rapidly developed an airway obstruction and cardiac arrest" his heart stopped.

Doctors did CPR for 10 minutes and managed to bring him back to life before doing emergency surgery to cut a hole in his neck for him to breathe through. 

The following day, it took doctors "several hours" to try and stop the bleeding caused by the surgery and the man's heart stopped again when they did. This time it took nine minutes of CPR to bring him back round.

Three days later he he had another operation to install a more stable airway in his neck for him to breathe through, and this one was successful.

After the surgery

The man developed pneumonia after his cardiac arrest and had to spend 64 days in hospital. He was finally discharged and sent elsewhere for rehabilitation.

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