Feb. 29, 2012 at 1:16 PM ET
A woman in China has been living with a thermometer inside her lung -- for an incredible 44 years.
Doctors in China's Hunan province discovered the 2-inch-long medical device in her left lung during a routine checkup. The patient, who is only identified as Liu, accidentally swallowed the thermometer when she was 12 years old, and her family couldn't afford the medical care it would take to remove it.
Sounds painful, but it hasn't caused the woman any discomfort -- that is, until now. Her doctors worry that if the thermometer breaks, the mercury inside it could cause serious damage inside the woman's body. It's not yet clear how doctors will remove the thermometer. Yikes. We're rooting for you, Liu!
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