X-Ray Shows OAP's Dentures Stuck In Throat For Eight Days After Operation
After a blunder during an operation, a pensioner spent over a week with his dentures unknowingly stuck in his throat.
The 72-year-old British man had an operation in which he was getting a lump taken out of his abdominal wall. However, after six days, he had started to feel some pain and was struggling to swallow, so returned to A&E.
He told medical staff there that he'd been unable to eat solid food and he had been finding blood in his mouth.
According to a medical report, the retired electrician was sent home and given mouthwash, antibiotics and steroids to treat what doctors thought were the effects of having a tube down his throat during surgery and a respiratory infection.
Two days later, he returned to A&E after his symptoms appeared to get worse - he was unable to swallow any of the medicine he was admitted with suspected pneumonia.
On his third visit to A&E, medics finally discovered what the problem had been. They found a semi-circular object lying across his vocal cords, which had caused internal swelling and blistering, according to a report in the BMJ Case Reports medical journal.
The report states: "On explaining this to the patient, he revealed that his dentures had been lost during his general surgery admission eight days earlier and consisted of a metallic roof plate and three front teeth."
X-rays confirmed this was the foreign body lodged in his throat - he was taken for emergency surgery to remove them and discharged after a further six days in hospital.
He'd suffered an internal wound tissue around the site of the blistering which doctors then treated by cauterising it to prevent further bleeding and he even needed a blood transfusion because he had lost so much blood.
Thinking the problem was over, he was shocked to find that nine days after he was again discharged, he returned with even more bleeding and needed more emergency surgery. It turned out that an artery had been torn in the wound.
The report states that a check-up a week later showed his wound was healing and after six weeks he didn't need any more emergency care.
The authors of the report state that this is not the first instance of dentures being inhaled while anaesthetic is being administered.
"There are no set national guidelines on how dentures should be managed during anaesthesia, but it is known that leaving dentures in during bag-mask ventilation allows for a better seal during induction, and therefore, many hospitals allow dentures to be removed immediately before intubation, as long as this is clearly documented," the report adds.
It also states that the presence of any dentures will be more explicitly stated during any surgery from now on to prevent the same thing happening again.
Featured Image Credit: SWNS