Man dentures stuck in throat at James Paget Hospital

An X-ray of the man's throat where his dentures were stuck

An X-ray of the man's throat where his dentures were stuck

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.

He had been prescribed mouthwash, steroids, and antibiotics to treat what doctors thought was a respiratory infection from having a tube down his throat. Pictured, an X-ray of the man's neck.

The man in question experienced considerable pain, bleeding and difficulty swallowing, with an article in the BMJ Case Reports Journal explaining he also required repeated hospital visits, additional invasive tests, blood transfusions and more surgery, after failing to remove his false teeth before going under.

But when a new set of doctors actually looked inside the man's throat, after the man again complained about his symptoms, they quickly spotted something lodged across his larynx. He remained in the hospital for another six days.

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.

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.

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. Upon further investigation, doctors discovered a semi-circular object lying across the patient's vocal cord - which had caused internal blistering.

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The dentures were removed in emergency surgery, but the patient - whose original op was to remove a lump in his abdominal wall - had several bouts of severe bleeding over the next six months because of damage to his throat, before making a full recovery, the report says.

By the time surgeons cauterised the wound in his throat, he had lost so much blood he needed a blood transfusion. During one visit, doctors estimated he had lost 1.5 liters of blood, or about three pints.

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 recommend carefully documenting the presence of dentures and other prosthetics both before and after any surgery to make sure that they are accounted for.

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.

"As a result of this, processes have been reviewed, amended as necessary, and the lessons learnt have been shared with staff".

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