Dentist sued by patient with Ludwig's angina

By Steve Gonzalez | Apr 21, 2005

A woman treated by a dentist at Southern Illinois University (SIU) School of Dental Medicine in Alton filed suit April 20 in Madison County Circuit Court alleging she developed Ludwig’s angina which threatened her life after her treatment.

Shanna Lawson is seeking at least $50,000 from Aaron Etcheson, D.M.D. claiming he failed to render acceptable treatment.

Ludwig's angina is a bacterial infection of the floor of the mouth, under the tongue. It often occurs following an infection of the roots of the teeth or after mouth injury. Swelling of the tissues occurs rapidly and may block the airway or prevent swallowing of saliva.

Lawson claims that on Dec. 4, 2003, she had a molar extracted by Etcheson but he failed to document and maintain a complete detailed dental chart of her treatment, failed to write post-operative instructions and failed to properly treat an infection with antibiotics.

According to the complaint, Lawson claims physical and mental pain, medical and hospital expenses and the inability to attend to her ordinary affairs of life.

Represented by David Hesi of Wiseman, Hesi, Mormino, Hubbs, Velloff, Edmonds, and Snider of Alton, Lawson is seeking a judgment for medical and drug expenses and general damages according to the proof and other relief the court deems just and proper, all in excess of $50,000.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Dan Stack.

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