Man Accidentally Inhales a Drill Bit During a Dental Procedure, Lodging It in His Lung

·2 min read
Drill Bit
Drill Bit

ABC/WISN Tom Jozsi

An Illinois man found himself headed to the hospital after a routine dental procedure left him with a drill bit in his lungs.

Tom Jozsi, 60, was getting a tooth filled when an errant breath caused him to accidentally inhale an inch-long drill bit.

I was at the dentist getting a tooth filled, and then next thing I know I was told I swallowed this tool," he told WISN 12 News. "I didn't really even feel it going down. All I felt was a cough."

A CT scan showed that the drill bit ended up in his lungs, and not his stomach.

"When they did the CT scan they realized, you didn't swallow it. You inhaled it," Jozsi recalled.

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Pulmonary expert Dr. Abdul Alraiyes, who treated Jozsi at the Aurora Medical Center in nearby Kenosha, Wisconsin, told the outlet that he tried to retrieve the drill bit with normal scopes but it was too deep in the lung.

"When I saw the cat scan, and where that object is sitting, it was really far down on the right lower lobe of the lung," Alraiyes said.

It looked like Jozsi, a maintanence worker, would need intensive surgery.

"What happens if he can't get it out? And the answer really was, part of my lung was going to have to get removed," Jozsi said.

AB Alraiyes
AB Alraiyes

Robotics Bronchoscopy/AB Alraiyes/YouTube The drill bit in Tom Jozsi's lung

But Alraiyes and his team decided to try getting it out with a catheter typically used "for early detection of cancer, especially lung cancer," the pulmonologist said.

Thanks to the "size of the catheter," Alraiyes said, he and his team were able to go into Jozsi's lung and remove the drill bit safely, without causing any damage or irritation. And four days after inhaling the drill bit, Jozsi awoke to see that it was finally out.

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"I was never so happy as when I opened my eyes, and I saw him with a smile under that mask shaking a little plastic container with the tool in it," Jozsi said.

The drill bit is now proudly displayed on a shelf at his home, Jozsi said.