Dentures missing after surgery found in senior's throat

Dentures missing after surgery found in senior's throat

The man's case brings attention to the risks of leaving dentures in the mouths of patients undergoing surgeries that require general anesthesia, wrote the article's author, Harriet A. Cunniffe, an otolaryngologist at James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom.

Nothing in his test results prompted doctors to consider anything other than a respiratory infection and the side effects of having had a tube down his throat during his operation.He was therefore prescribed mouthwash, antibiotics and steroids, and sent home.

A British man who had a minor procedure was back in the hospital about a week later, thanks to something he swallowed during the surgery.

The hospital took another X-ray that revealed the problem: His dentures-a metal roof plate and three false teeth-lodged at the top of this throat, which had caused internal blistering and swelling.

A 72-year-old man had his dentures lodged in his throat for eight days after he aspirated them during surgery.

The presence of any false teeth or dental plates in patients should be clearly documented before and after any surgery, said Dr. Harriet Cunniffe, lead author of a case study on the elderly patient's ordeal.

He then had emergency surgery to remove the dentures and was discharged after six days.

A man's false teeth were stuck in his throat for eight days after he "inhaled" them during a routine operation, it has emerged.

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After another two days in the hospital, he was sent home. But six days later a bout of bleeding prompted his return.

After a couple of days he was again discharged, but returned six days later because of further bleeding. Now, as he told doctors that he couldn't swallow the medication and was still coughing blood, he spoke in a "hoarse breathy voice", according to the report.

By the time surgeons cauterised the wound in his throat, he had lost so much blood he needed a blood transfusion.

The source of the bleeding was eventually discovered to be "a spurting arterial vessel" in the man's throat that had been obscured by tissue that formed over it during the healing process, according to the report.

Keeping people's dentures in is thought to make it easier for anesthesia to be given to them through a bag-mask, but they should obviously be taken out immediately before any intubation starts, the report noted.

"In addition to reminding us of the risks of leaving dentures in during induction of anaesthesia when the Swiss cheese model of errors aligns, this case also highlights a number of important learning points", they added.

The report concluded that all members of surgical teams must be aware of dentures before and after surgery, as well know what to do with them during the procedure.

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