• A post made on Tuesday from Ginger Wang warned parents of a possible bacterial infection called Ludwig’s angina
  • Her post included three pictures of her son Austin in the emergency room and has been shared over 280,000 times
  • In an update on Wednesday, Wang said her son was still in the hospital but suggested he was going to recover following an emergency procedure
  • Ludwig’s angina is a bacterial infection that often develops after an abscess tooth or other injuries to the mouth
  • Blocked airways are the most common cause of death with Ludwig’s angina due to blocking the airway

On Tuesday, Dallas resident Ginger Wang made a post to her Facebook post warning parents to take caution after her 18-year-old son almost died from Ludwig’s angina, a bacterial infection that develops in the floor of the mouth.

What Happened

Wang’s post has been shared over 280,000 times since she posted it. In the post, Wang uploaded three pictures of her son in the emergency room. She explained she had taken her “healthy, full of life, and loving” 18-year-old son Austin to get his teeth removed days prior. Her son came home from the procedure and was “out of it” that night, which was not alarming due to the anesthesia. Over the next few days Austin’s health quickly began to deteriorate.

On Saturday he was in pain, but Wang said the pain was tolerable. Once again, not exactly a red flag as pain is expected following the procedure. On Sunday Austin’s condition began to worsen. Wang says the right side of his face down to his neck was “severally swollen” and he had a “severe sore throat.” By Monday morning, Austin told Wang, “Mom, I feel like I’m going to die.”

It turns out Austin’s feeling was correct. Little did anyone know Austin had developed a bacterial infection following the procedure. Wang tried to call his surgeon’s office, but they could not be reached. After being examined at a different office they were instructed to go to the Emergency Room immediately. Upon arrival at the ER, Wang says workers appeared confused on what to do. As Wnag’s concern grew, Austin became lethargic and his airways began closing up.

Before going lethargic, Austin had blood work and a CT scan done. Once the CT scan came back it showed Ludwig’s angina was spreading through his face, jaw, neck and throat. Austin was placed on life support due to the bacterial infection and rushed into emergency surgery. At that moment, it was not clear if Wang’s first-born son was going to live through the infection.

On Wednesday, Wang posted an update to her Facebook. In the post, Wang said she has been advised to no longer speak on Austin’s medical condition, which we can only assume is likely from her attorney. It does sound as if Austin is going to be okay as in the post Wang says, “GOD IS AMAZING and he visited my son, along with two angels from above.” Wang went on to say, “Austin remains in the hospital surrounded by family and friends.”

Ludwig’s Angina

In 1836, German physician Wilhelm Friedrich von Ludwig first described Ludwig’s angina as a “rapidly and frequently fatal progressive gangrenous cellulitis and edema of the soft tissues of the neck and floor of the mouth.” Ludwig’s angina is a form of severe diffuse cellulitis that is known to be fatal due to blocking airways due to swelling along the floor of the mouth and throughout the neck. Airway compromise is the number one cause of death for those suffering from Ludwig’s angina. Ludwig’s angina most often occurs after a tooth abscess, but it can also come from other mouth infections or injuries. The infection is more common in adults than children. Normally, people who receive treatment have a full recovery.

In the early stages of Ludwig’s angina treatment can consist of intravenous antibiotics. In the later stages, the airway is required to be secured as doctors surgically drain the infection. The entire infection is complicated by pain, airway edema, and tongue displacement which creates a compromised airway. Some warning signs of having Ludwig’s angina include pain, the elevation of the tongue, malaise, fever, neck swelling and dysphagia. The inability to swallow saliva should raise concern as this is a sign that your airway is in imminent danger of being blocked due to the elevation and posterior displacement of the tongue. Seek medical help if you believe you are experiencing Ludwig’s angina, as seen with Wang’s story, the bacterial infection can spread rapidly with the possibility of death increasing by the day.

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