Lethal complications of dentoalveolar infection
Published in the Journal of Medical Case Reports, the authors present two cases of innocuous dentoalveolar infections which rapidly progressed to deep neck abscesses complicated by descending mediastinitis.

The clinical presentations of a 35-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman were similar with submandibular fluctuant and tender swelling and differential warmth to palpation. The patients had tachycardia, high grade pyrexia, and normal blood pressure. Further physical and neurological examinations were unremarkable.

An ultrasound scan of the neck swellings showed submandibular turbid collections. Plain chest radiographs confirmed empyema thoraces.

These patients had serial drainage of the neck abscesses as well as closed thoracostomy tube drainage which were connected to pleurovac and suctioning machines, with significant amount of pus drainage.

Both patients were admitted to ICU for close monitoring. The first patient continued to make satisfactory clinical progress and was discharged by the fourth week of admission. The patient who had human immunodeficiency viral infection died on the fifth postoperative day.

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