Remove false teeth before general anesthetic, doctors warn

  • Remove false teeth before general anesthetic, doctors warn

Remove false teeth before general anesthetic, doctors warn

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.

After six days, he discovered that his mouth was filling with blood and that he was finding it hard to swallow.

According to a medical report, the retired electrician was sent home and given 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.

The man, who said he had lost his dentures during his initial visit to hospital, was then rushed into surgery to remove the false teeth.

Upon returning to the hospital, doctors discovered that he had inhaled his dentures during surgery.

"There are no set national guidelines on how dentures should be managed during anaesthesia, but it is known that leaving dentures in during bag-mask ventilation allows for a better seal during induction [when the anaesthetic is being infused], and therefore many hospitals allow dentures to be removed immediately before intubation [when a tube is inserted into the airway to assist breathing]", write the authors. He was admitted to hospital with suspected aspiration pneumonia-a severe chest infection usually caused by inhaling food or stomach acid or saliva into the lungs. An X-ray of his neck then confirmed that the man's dentures were stuck inside his throat.

Emergency surgery removed the dentures from the man's throat.

After a couple of days he was again discharged, but returned six days later because of further bleeding.

The man's recovery, however, wasn't quite as simple.

They found a semi-circular object lying across his vocal cords, which had caused internal swelling and blistering, according to a report in the BMJ Case Reports medical journal.

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. More recently, a case report published in May detailed an incident of a 50-year-old man swallowing his dentures during sedation.

In this case, the man had consistently complained about a sore throat and trouble swallowing from the first time he visited the emergency room.

"Listen to the story the patient is telling you and do not be distracted by positive findings on investigations", Cunniffe wrote.