Sunday, 18 August, 2019

Remove false teeth before general anesthetic, doctors warn

The X-ray showed a semicircular object lying across the man's vocal cords Missing dentures found stuck in throat 8 days after surgery
Anna Jefferson | 13 August, 2019, 21:12

According to one of the 72-year-old man's United Kingdom doctors, who wrote about the case in BMJ Case Reports on Monday, his trouble began soon after a successful and seemingly well-done surgery that removed a benign lump from inside his chest.

They got stuck in his throat - and were only discovered eight days later.

Over the course of several weeks after the denture removal, the man returned to the hospital multiple times still coughing up blood, the article said.

He also required two additional operations.

It has lead to calls for the presence of any false teeth or dental plates to be clearly documented before and after any surgical procedure, with all members of the surgical team made aware of what is to be done with them, they add.

The James Paget University Hospital in Norfolk said it had amended processes.

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.

The man was sent home and prescribed 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.

He had been unable to swallow any of the medicine and was admitted to hospital with a severe chest infection.

A "metallic semicircular object" was covering his vocal cords, "completely obstructing their view", the report said.

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False teeth must be removed before major surgery, doctors have warned, after a pensioner swallowed his dentures and did not notice for more than a week.

Doctors operated to remove the dentures and kept him hospitalized for six days.

As tests revealed the bleeding had stopped, he was sent home, only to reappear 10 days later with the same problem.

Tests showed he had suffered an internal wound tissue around the site of the blistering which doctors then treated by cauterising it to prevent further bleeding. They cauterized the tissue to prevent further bleeding.

The man had to have a blood transfusion he lost so much blood.

Two days later he returned with worsening symptoms.

But the hospital still hadn't seen the last of him. However, after six days, he had started to feel some pain and was struggling to swallow, so returned to A&E. Emergency surgery was ordered.

Details of the man's case emerged in the journal BMJ Case Reports, in which authors recommend that false teeth be taken out before general anaesthetic.

"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", the authors pointed out.

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