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Friday, October 05, 2007


Here's one medical error that's hard to swallow.

A New Zealand man's false teeth were found stuck in his throat four days after he went into the hospital for back surgery.

The Health and Disability Commission, which investigates medical malpractice and error complaints, reported today that the 81-year-old's upper dentures were removed for the initial operation in 2005, but somehow were put back into the heavily sedated man's mouth.

After complaining in a husky voice of extreme pain and unable to eat, the man was re-examined by doctors who found the dentures lodged in his throat and removed them.

As a result, a cyst in the center of the man's spinal cord pushed on his brain stem, which damaged parts responsible for swallowing and the feeling in the back of his mouth.

The elderly man recovered, but died within a couple of years of unrelated respiratory illness. The commission did not identify the hospital, the town or any of the people involved.

Bet ya relatives are chomping at the bit to make a few bucks off this one.

Photo by Mad Monk

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Anonymous dundee said...

Bloke should be thankful they were'nt tucked into his down under!

Fri Oct 05, 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous proofreader said...

If his back surgery involved removing anything, hate to think where a random vertebra or disk may have ended up. What did doctors tell family ?: good news is your father's back is fine, bad news is your father can only smile when he swallows (literally)! There was a young woman on local NY news yesterday who had a radical double mastectomy -only problem, it was discovered too late that she was incorrectly diagnosed with breast cancer and operation totally unnecessary! My 9-yr.nephew in VA. has had numerous ear surgeries past 4 years and had extreme pain and infection recently. Doctor exam revealed he (the surgeon) had left a rather long , thin piece of surgical gauze inside ear canal and was sitting in there a couple months before symptoms got bad and they had to remove it again during his exam.Good thing my sister was in the room when it was seen and removed or who knows what type of cover-up may have been attempted. Needless to say, my sister has consulted an attorney and my nephew now under another Dr's. care.

Fri Oct 05, 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous pokey said...

I'm Gumby dammit!

Fri Oct 05, 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous My bark worse than my bite said...

The process of getting my upper denture at the age of 50 was a real pain in the butt. Not at all with the dentist,she was superb.
I helped her achieve her professional record of 9 teeth extracted in one sitting.This record still stands today she tells me.
It was the lab who after several impressions and sizings got the damn thing wrong after all my upper teeth were out!
The denture was far too big,almost as if someone else's was sent in by mistake.
Not willing to meet my clients and occupants of a large commercial account I managed,I took 10 days off on disability until the teeth came in.
It was the worst medical indignity I have ever faced!
I am however,quite comfortable with my denture and the decision to get one.Bone density loss,you know.
The denture looks great!

Fri Oct 05, 12:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Jacob Morris said...

They did the same thing to my father and after 2 years he died of a brain tumor-before I let a doctor kill me I will take a slow boat to China and let my funds run out!

Fri Oct 05, 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Norm said...


My father-in-law was having an operation to unclog his carotid artery when the surgeons's hand slipped and severed one of the nerves necessary for proper swallowing. As a result, for the rest of his life, he almost choked almost every time he ate, and often had severe coughing fits.

Stories on medical mistakes can be funny when they happen to somebody else. But they sure ain't funny when they happen to you or your family.

Fri Oct 05, 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jacob, you may want to rethink the whole slow boat to China idea -your boat may be laden with lead paint!

Fri Oct 05, 09:22:00 PM  

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