iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Ruchir Kumar , Hindustan Times
Patna, August 27, 2013
After being treated for all kinds of ailments for over two-and-a-half decades, 75-year-old Krishna Kant Jha finally realised his cough and bouts of fits were caused by a piece of betel nut lodged in his lungs for the last 28 years! An advocate based in Samastipur, about 110 km from Patna, Jha used to suffer from chronic cough and bouts of fits.

He was under treatment since 1985. Today, he is a relieved man as the severity of cough has reduced and the bouts of fits which he used to suffer three or four times a day have vanished.

Jha’s bronchoscopy, a nonsurgical procedure in which an illuminated fibre optic pipe is inserted into the wind pipe and the lungs, was done under general anesthesia to extricate a piece of betel nut measuring about 10 mm in diameter.

"Too much coughing sometimes leads to partial loss of consciousness. This led to many doctors to believe that the patient was suffering from epilepsy, for which he was even prescribed anti-epileptic drugs but to no avail,” said chest specialist Dr Sudhir Kumar, who removed the betel nut lodged in Jha’s lung.

"My father was treated for tuberculosis, chest infection, pneumonia and even epilepsy. He had been undergoing treatment for more than two decades but to no avail. We made rounds of several local doctors before being referred to Dr Sudhir Kumar," said his elder son Abhishek Kumar Jha, 32, a state government employee.

Jha was a habitual betel nut chewer. The lawyer believes he had swallowed the betel nut some 28 years back. Having left the vice over two decades back, he now swears never to go back to his 'chewing ways'.