Patient swallows dental drill bit during surgery

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Patient swallows dental drill bit during surgery

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A dental drill bit came loose during surgery and had to be removed from a patient’s lung. (Photo courtesy of Alexander Tihonov/Shutterstock)
Dental Tribune International

By Dental Tribune International

Wed. 9. January 2013

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VÄSTERÅS, Sweden: According to a report to the Swedish health care authorities, a 3 cm-long dental drill bit had to be removed from a female patient’s right lung after it had accidentally fallen into the mouth of the 60-year-old during a dental implant surgery.

As reported by The Local, a Swedish online newspaper published in English, the incident occurred in September last year in the Västmanland Central Hospital in Central Sweden.

According to the newspaper, the drill bit became loose and fell into the woman’s mouth. Although she was requested to cough, the patient swallowed the instrument reflexively. An immediate X-ray of the patient’s chest revealed that the drill bit had moved into her right lung. It had to be removed using a bronchoscope.

The patient was able to leave the hospital one day after the procedure but did not recover fully for another month owing to complications, the newspaper reported.

After the incident, the clinic introduced new safety routines, such as double-checking that the drill bit is secure before every procedure, Dr Per Weitz, the hospital’s chief physician, told The Local.

The case was reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare, a Swedish government agency, in accordance with the Lex Maria, a rule that obligates every health care provider to report incidents that have led or could have led to serious damage to the health of a patient.

One thought on “Patient swallows dental drill bit during surgery

  1. jacqueline says:

    my husband’s dentist dropped the drill in his mouth and it cut him, he had to go to the hospital as the drill when he was cut it hit one of the salivary glands in his mouth and it had to be surgically be repaired. it was one wee before any surgeron could do it. we where sent to 2 hospitals and no surgeron could repair it as they kept tellus that no in the 2 hospitals know how to repair a salivary gland. what a mess, thank god we found an surgeon that knew how to repair a salivary gland. he is doing ok but it is only a week since it happened, no body wants to pay for their mistake though

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