Dental Drill Accident:  Bit falls down Patient's throat into Lung

Dental Drill Accident: Bit falls down Patient’s throat into Lung (Photo courtesy Sterilgutassistentin)

Dental Drill Bit falls down Patient’s throat into Lung

During a routine dental implant procedure a 60 year old woman in Sweden swallowed the head of a dental drill that fell off the rest of the drill equipment; the woman was lying down and swallowed the drill before her dentist could remove it from her throat.

In a report made about the September accident made to comply with regulations regarding medical accidents in Sweden the three centimetre drill burr is reported to have become lodged in the lung of the patient.

The dentist immediately sent the patient for emergency treatment at Sweden’s Vastmanland County Hospital where doctors performed an emergency bronchoscopy; a small camera was inserted into the woman’s throat and passed into the lungs to locate the drill bit.

The medical chief explained: “A pinky-sized tube was sent into her lung with a small camera and pliers to grab hold of the drill.”

A small grabbing tool located in the tube carrying the camera was then used to remove the burr from the patients lung. The unfortunate patient was sent home from the hospital the following day.

According to The Independent, the hospital has introduced new routines to avoid it happening again. “What we’ve done at the clinic is to make sure everyone double checks that the drill is attached properly, and we’ve also introduced a routine of testing the drill in the air. That should be done before every procedure now,” hospital’s medical chief, Per Weitz told Swedish newspaper The Local.