People who suffer from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome are often the victims of medical negligence, even though SJS causes are only somewhat understood. This condition can be fatal and usually leaves the patient with permanent complications, including blindness or widespread scarring. The underlying cause is an immune system disorder, but the disease only presents itself in the presence of a certain stimulus. This may be viral, bacterial in nature or a reaction to a prescription drug.
SJS symptoms start out as a simple fever, sore throat and cough, though eye pain may also be present. Doctors tend to misdiagnose the disease in its early stages. After a short time, face and tongue swelling, pain, hives, blisters on the skin and mucus membranes, a red or purple rash that spreads, and skin shedding will also be apparent. SJS causes are always linked to an immunological stimulus, like a viral or bacterial infection. Some medications, particularly allopurinol, antibiotics, sulfonamides and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories can also produce the disease.
The mortality rate associated with the disease largely depends on the age of the patient and how much of the skin is necrotized. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition, and doctors treat SJS symptoms similar to how they would treat severe burns. Patients are isolated in ICU burn wards, fed a regular supply of fluid to prevent dehydration and are monitored for infection. Pain control and encouraging the growth of healthy tissue are the primary goals of long-term treatment.
Anyone who has contracted the disease should think about speaking with a drug injury lawyer as soon as they can. Improperly prescribed medications are among the most common SJS causes, and doctors must be aware of a patient’s risk factors before recommending any drugs.
Terry Bryant is Board Certified in personal injury trial law, which means his extensive knowledge of the law has been recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, setting him apart from many other injury attorneys. The 22 years he spent as a Municipal Judge, Spring Valley Village, TX also provides him keen insight into the Texas court system. That experience also helps shape his perspective on personal injury cases and how they might resolve. This unique insight benefits his clients. [ Attorney Bio ]