According to the British Medical Journal, the partial prostheses of a 72-year-old man got stuck in his throat during surgery and remained there for eight days. According to a new report published on Monday, he went to the emergency room after having difficulty swallowing and coughing up blood.
Doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and sent him home with antibiotics and steroids. Another trip to the hospital to discover the underlying problem. Studies have shown that the man had dentures consisting of a metal roof and three artificial teeth stuck on his throat.
According to a British study, the man believed his dentures were lost when he was in hospital for a minor surgery because of a harmless lump more than a week earlier. After removing the prostheses, he remained in the hospital for six days and suffered several more complications before healing.
Misfortune indicates the danger of leaving the prosthesis in the patient's mouth during anesthesia.
"There are no national guidelines on how to handle dentures during anesthesia, but it is known that leaving dentures during ventilating the mask-bag allows for better sealing during induction (when administering anesthesia) and therefore many hospitals allow dentures to be removed immediately prior to intubation (when the tube will be inserted into the airways to facilitate breathing), "wrote study lead author Dr Harriet A Cunniffe, an otolaryngologist at James Paget University Hospital in the UK
"In addition to reminding us of the risk of leaving the prosthesis during induction of anesthesia … this case also highlights a number of important learning points," explained Cunniffe.
Cunniffe urged doctors to "always listen to the patient" and not rely so much on imaging and laboratory tests.