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Not Such a Tough Story to Swallow

Posted Mar 01 2013 9:29am

Doctors are human. Sometimes they make mistakes. Yet some seem so over-the-top , you almost want to say, “You went to medical school and this is what you learned?!”

Case in point : When 75 year old Nermin Keating from Essex, England accidentally swallowed her dentures, it took four doctors 9 weeks of repeated misdiagnoses to figure out what was wrong.

maddock_keating Yes, really.

Even worse, Keating’s daughter, Umit Maddock, knew the missing 11 tooth partial was missing and mentioned it each and every time they sought medical help for her mother’s pain and low-grade fever. The first three times, physicians didn’t even take a peek down Keating’s throat.

They gave her antibiotics for a lung infection instead.

Suffice it to say, that didn’t help. So Maddock took her mother to a fourth doctor. He took a look and spotted the dentures, which medics removed with forceps. “Really long forceps,” Maddock said.

Two weeks after the fact, the BBC reported Keating to be doing well.

Still, you have to wondered just what in the heck happened. Did the first three doctors dismiss Keating’s complaints because she suffers from dementia? Did they listen to the daughter? Did they hear what she was saying? Was it the common rush to see too many patients that created the blind spot – or perhaps the rush antibiotics?

According to the Daily Mail’s coverage , the practice manager at the surgery where the partial was removed said “he had never seen anything like it in his career.”

He said: ‘It was an extraordinary find – very unusual.

‘The patient had difficulty swallowing for quite some time and she had been seen by the out-of-hours service but her condition kept changing and nobody ever suspected the obstruction was a set of dentures.

‘I have worked for all my career and I have never heard anything like this.’

Never? Granted, it’s not an everyday thing, but swallowing a denture isn’t unheard of – and far from the most unusual thing a person has swallowed .

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Image via the Daily Mail


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