LONDON: A 72-year-old Briton spent eight days with his dentures – made up of a metal plate and three front teeth – stabbed in his throat after having surgery, doctors say here.
The man underwent surgery to remove a lump in his abdominal wall, but the hospital operating team neglected to remove his prosthesis before surgery.
According to a case report in the British Medical Journal on Monday, the man returned to the hospital six days later, complaining of blood in his mouth and difficulty breathing and swallowing, which prevented him from eating solid food. Ultimately, more surgery was needed to resolve the issue.
Lead author Harriet Kunife of James Page Hospital in the East of England has called on surgeons to ensure that dentures are removed from patients before surgery.
During the man's first return to the emergency room, doctors failed to diagnose the problem and he was sent home with a mouthwash, antibiotics and steroids.
But he returned two days later with worsening symptoms and was admitted to the hospital with suspected aspiration pneumonia – a severe chest infection, the report said.
Ultimately, the diagnostic procedure identifies a semicircular object lying through its vocal cords that caused internal blisters and swelling.
The man, who said he lost his dentures during his initial visit to the hospital, was then undergoing surgery to remove false teeth.
The study's authors wrote: "There are no national guidelines on how prostheses should be managed during anesthesia, but it is known that leaving dentures during ventilation with a mask mask allows for better sealing during induction (when anesthesia is infused) and therefore many hospitals allow the removal of prostheses immediately before intubation (when a breathing tube is inserted into the airways). "
"This case highlights a number of important learning points … The first is always to listen to your patient. It has long been known that a person receives most of the information needed to make a diagnosis based on a patient's history," they added.
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