A central Vietnamese farmer is breathing easier now that doctors in Hue have removed the leech that refused to budge from his throat for 20 days. The 9cm bloodsucker remains alive after yesterday’s procedure, said Dr. Hoang Thi Lan Huong, deputy head of Hue Central Hospital’s Endoscopy Department. The farmer, identified only as H.B.V., went to the hospital Sunday because he was coughing up blood from an itchy throat and had trouble breathing. V., 31, said that three weeks ago, in a flooded area filled with leeches, he had been catching crabs and holding a light in his mouth. He returned to his home in Quang Tri province’s Huong Hoa District with an itchy throat and coughed up blood.
Using a mirror, V. discovered the leech and tried unsuccessfully to flush it out with garlic. Ten days later, he sought treatment at two hospitals that couldn’t extract the leech and transferred him to Hue Central Hospital.