Stevens Johnson Syndrome
Written by Andrew Sarski on February 25, 2011
Symptoms and Treatment of SJS
Individuals suffering from the early stages of Stevens-Johnson syndrome may experience vague symptoms like cough, headaches, aching, fatigue and fever. As the disease progresses, the individual will likely develop a red or purple target-shaped rash across the face which may spread to the rest of the body. This rash can form into blisters which affect the skin and mucous membranes, especially in the nose, mouth, eyes and vaginal area. Mouth involvement may be so severe that the individual may be unable to eat or drink. In some cases, the mucous membranes will become inflamed and the skin may begin to shed.
SJS is an extremely dangerous condition which requires immediate hospitalization and medical treatment to control pain. Victims will likely require intravenous fluid replacement, and drug-related SJS will result in termination of drug treatment. In most cases, the skin is left to re-grow on its own, but the level of infection and damage to the skin will determine the likelihood of survival. The earlier the condition is detected and treatment is begun, the less likely the condition will be fatal. Even after the disorder is effectively treated, Stevens-Johnson syndrome may return if there is further exposure to the toxic drug.
Complications and Prognosis of SJS
The complications associated with Stevens-Johnson syndrome are life-altering and potentially fatal, including severe eye problems like blindness, renal failure, permanent skin damage, damage to internal organs, respiratory failure, and secondary skin infection, sometimes resulting in meningitis or sepsis. Most individuals with SJS make a full recovery, depending on the severity of the condition and the accompanying complications. Individual skin lesions typically heal within one to two weeks, unless secondary infection occurs. Although Stevens-Johnson syndrome is rare, occurring in approximately 2.6-7.1 cases per one million people per year, it does occur, and the condition is extremely serious. Approximately five percent of cases of SJS are fatal, with sepsis and respiratory distress being the most common complications of SJS and the direct causes of death.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome Legal Help
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is an extremely painful and incapacitating condition. Mild cases of SJS may heal within days while more serious instances may take weeks or months. Some individuals may require skin grafts to replace damaged skin and the skin that does repair itself is likely to result in severe scarring. Victims of drug-induced SJS are not at fault; drug manufacturing companies are responsible for the dangerous side effects of their drugs and should be held accountable for the injuries sustained by consumers of their drugs. If you or a loved one has suffered from Stevens-Johnson syndrome and you believe pharmaceuticals to be the cause, contact a defective drug attorney to discuss the benefits of filing a lawsuit. Defective drug lawyers are experienced in defective drug litigation and can help you collect the compensation you are entitled to.