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Dentist Drops Device Down Patient's Throat

CHICAGO (CBS) -- While typically a routine procedure, a root canal is hardly a pleasant experience--even under normal circumstances.

Then there is the case of Janusz Pawlowicz.

The Hoffman Estates resident had emergency surgery to remove a device that was dropped down his throat during a root canal, according to his attorneys, who filed a lawsuit against the dentist.

At first the dentist, Dr. Beata Kozar-Warchalowska in Des Plaines, tried to hide the fact that she had dropped the dental file.

She told Pawlowicz that she did not know what had happened to instrument she was using.

However, a three days later, Pawlowicz went to the hospital with severe abdominal pain.

An x-ray revealed the device, called a barbed breach (pictured below), was lodged in his stomach.

Surgeons removed the instrument.

This dental device was dropped down a man's throat.

Attorneys Patrick A. Salvi and Rob L. Kohen of the Chicago law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard, P.C. obtained a $675,000 settlement on behalf Pawlowicz.

"It's rare that I've heard about, personally, but really what it comes down to is that this was completely preventable," Kohen said.

Kohen says the dentist should have used a dental dam to keep the instrument from being accidentally dropped down the patient's throat.

CBS 2 contacted the dentist who declined to comment.


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