Woman aspirates drill bit during implant surgery

A 60-year-old woman undergoing dental implant surgery had to have her dentist's drill bit removed from her right lung after it fell into her mouth and she swallowed it, according to an article in the Local.

When the 3-cm long drill bit loosened from its grip and landed in the patient's mouth, she was immediately placed in an upright seated position during the surgery at Västmanland County Hospital in central Sweden.

Per Weitz, the hospital's medical chief, explained that after she unsuccessfully tried to spit the part out, the patient was instructed to cough, but she had already swallowed it.

Shortly afterward, x-rays revealed that it had lodged in her right lung and a bronchoscopy was performed. Surgeons inserted a tube with a camera and pliers into her lung during the procedure to retrieve the bit.

The clinic now requires surgeons to double check that their drills are properly attached and to test them prior to a procedure.

The September incident was reported to the National Board of Health and Welfare per Swedish law regarding healthcare accidents or injuries, the article noted.

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