This is the moment a doctor finds a blood-sucking leech in a patient’s windpipe after the woman complained about “something moving” in her throat and began coughing up blood.
Doctor Yao Hongmei, who is head of respiratory and critical care medicine at Guizhou Provincial People’s Hospital, said 65-year-old Ms Wang came in complaining of discomfort in her throat and had been coughing blood.
Ms Wang claimed she felt “something moving” in her windpipe, and her doctor ordered a bronchoscopy on 2nd July.
Images released by the hospital in Guiyang, capital of Guizhou Province in south-western China, shows Doctor Yao searching Ms Wang’s windpipe and finding the writhing parasite climbing in and out of her glottis.
Nurse Ren Xuejiao said the leech was clinging tightly to the walls of Ms Wang’s trachea, and forcefully removing it would have caused secondary injury to the pensioner, requiring further surgery.
Doctor Yao said: “In similar cases involving leeches in the past, doctors extracted the parasites by freezing them.
“Leeches go into hibernation at low temperatures, so I sprayed a carbon dioxide freezing agent on it, lowering part of its body to minus 80 degrees Celsius.
“It froze, and then its suckers to release from the patient’s trachea wall, allowing me to remove it.”
The procedure to remove the 1.2-inch parasite took all but six minutes, the hospital said.
Ms Wang works on a farm and said she had the habit of drinking uncooked “spring water”.
Her habit likely caused her to ingest leech eggs or larvae, which hatched and grew in her windpipe, Doctor Yao said.
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.