Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) can be very serious and is commonly caused from an allergic reaction to medications. SJS is a hypersensitivity disorder that affects the skin, mucous membranes and can cause severe eye problems. SJS has been known by other names, such as erythema multiforme major or ectodermosis erosiva pluriorificialis, but it is now generally accepted as separate, distinct disorder. This disorder can affect the elderly and can be very serious if not quickly diagnosed and treated.
Common Medications Associated With Stevens Johnson Syndrome
Although SJS can occur from any allergic reaction to a medication, there are certain drugs that are more commonly known to trigger SJS. Sulfa-based drugs are often linked to these types of allergic reactions; however, many commonly used medications often trigger SJS as well.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, Celebrex, naproxen or ibuprofen.
Symptoms Of Stevens Johnson Syndrome
The first signs of SJS are often mistaken for the flu, such as coughing, fever and sore throat. However, the disorder soon becomes visible on the skin and mucous membranes in the form of a rash or blisters, sometimes within hours, but it can be days after the flu-like symptoms begin. Caregivers should be on the look for:
- A red or purplish rash
- Hives, often red or purple “target” shaped
- Blisters near the nose, mouth or eyes
- Swollen tongue or face
- Skin pain
Stevens Johnson syndrome In Nursing Homes, Hospitals & Other Medical Facilities
Due to the large numbers of medications dispensed in nursing homes and hospitals, it is important that all drug allergies are carefully noted when patients are admitted and that any patient given new medications are closely watched for allergic reactions. Unfortunately, many nursing homes are under-staffed and fail to communicate when a patient has been given medications that may trigger SJS.
Many patients in medical facilities already have poor health and are predisposed to develop SJS as they already have weak immune systems. The disorder can quickly lead to severe skin infections and more serious health risks. Complications include:
- Body-wide infections or sepsis
- Heart, lung, kidney or liver inflammation
- Shock caused by loss of body fluids
The quicker SJS is detected, the better chance a patient will have of healing from the disorder. Most patients will need to be hospitalized, often in a burn unit, and undergo treatments to control infection and reduce the inflammation. Although the death rate for SJS in its severe form is high, patients who are treated quickly can recover in several months.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome Attorneys For People Who Were Given Improper Medication or Where Facilities Fail to Determine an Adverse Reaction
If you have a loved one that has contracted SJS in a medical facility and has had severe health issues from the disorder or did not survive, it is possible that the medical facility or physician was negligent in their care. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is home to experienced Stevens Johnson and other adverse drug reaction lawyers that are knowledgeable in SJS cases and can assist you in finding out the truth behind your loved one’s illness. We understand this is a difficult situation and are sensitive to the pain you and your loved one have had to endure. Please call us today for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your legal options. 888-424-5757