Dentures discovered in larynx 8 days after general anaesthet
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Full or partial dentures are used by approximately one in five people aged between 18 and 74 years. According to the literature, eating, maxillofacial trauma and dental treatment procedures are the main reasons for an aspirated tooth or denture, and while ethanol intoxication, dementia, stroke and epilepsy are predisposing factors, the majority of cases occur in patients with no known risks.

This case report concerns an active 72-year-old retired electrician who lives independently with his wife, has never smoked and whose only medical history is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), well controlled with occasional salbutamol use.

He presented to the accident and emergency department (A&E) with odynophagia, dysphagia and haemoptysis 6 days after excision of a benign abdominal wall lump. He had not been able to swallow any solid food since his general anaesthetic. Oropharyngeal examination was normal, chest X-ray showed changes consistent with his COPD, haemoglobin was stable and inflammatory markers were mildly raised. He was treated for lower respiratory tract infection and concurrent pain secondary to intubation and discharged with clarithromycin, difflam mouthwash and a 5-day course of prednisolone.

He returned to A&E 2 days after this with worsening pain in his throat, ongoing haemoptysis, a hoarse breathy voice and being unable to swallow the medication he was discharged with. He was also feeling short of breath, particularly when lying down, and had taken to sleeping upright on the sofa. He was now requiring 2 L oxygen via nasal cannula to maintain his saturation. His chest X-ray showed some hazy opacification in the left hemithorax

Source: BMJ case reports

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