LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky woman is suing a dentist, accusing him of dropping a small screwdriver down her throat that migrated to her digestive tract and later required surgery to remove.
In a suit filed in Fayette Circuit Court in Lexington, 71-year-old Lena David of Nicholasville said the screwdriver ended up in her digestive tract, where surgeons at St. Joseph Hospital later removed it.
David is asking for an undisclosed amount of damages from Dr. W.B. Galbreath of Lexington.
The file includes an X-ray, purported to be David’s, which shows the silhouette of the screwdriver in her pelvic region.
David’s attorney, Edwin H. Clark, declined to comment on the case. Galbraith did not immediately return a message left at his office Friday by The Associated Press.
The Lexington Herald-Leader first reported the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday.
David said she went to Galbreath on May 26, 2011 to have composite removed from six implant entrances on her lower denture and have the implant bar cleaned. Galbreath used an instrument described as a “screwdriver” in his treatment notes and lost control of the instrument during the procedure, David claims.
“Dr. Galbreath did not secure the screwdriver with dental floss or anything else during his treatment,” Clark wrote in the lawsuit.
Clark also noted that Galbreath did not place anything across David’s mouth, such as a dental dam or oral barrier, to prevent David from swallowing an instrument. After Galbreath dropped the instrument, David “reflexively swallowed it,” Clark wrote.
Galbreath suggested David use the restroom and try to “gag herself until she vomited” the screwdriver, a method that did not work, Clark wrote.
Galbreath then sent David to a nearby chiropractor to have x-rays done. Galbreath reviewed the x-rays and determined that the screwdriver had migrated to David’s stomach, Clark wrote.
“Dr. Galbreath discharged Ms. David with an instruction to eat a diet high in fiber,” Clark wrote.
David took the advice, but the screwdriver had become lodged in her digestive tract, Clark wrote.
David went to St. Joseph Hospital on June 23, 2011 after experiencing pain in her lower right quadrant and doctors performed surgery that day by manipulating the screwdriver into David’s appendix and removing it, Clark wrote.
David spent six days in the hospital and “experienced a long and difficult recovery,” Clark wrote.
The lawsuit accuses Galbreath of dental negligence and failing to provide the degree of “care and skill ordinarily expected of a reasonably competent dental practice acting under similar circumstances.”