Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a condition that can suddenly develop in an individual, usually as a reaction to a medication or in individuals with a weakened immune system.
This article will unpack what Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is, how someone can get SJS, and answer the question, can Stevens-Johnson Syndrome be mild?
What Is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome is a severe condition that affects the skin and mucus membranes all over and within the body. A person experiencing this syndrome will develop a rash all over their body and their skin may begin blistering. The skin may start flaking off as this condition becomes more severe, as it attempts to heal over the painful blisters.
What Are the Symptoms of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?
When SJS first begins to appear, you may experience flu-like symptoms. These symptoms can include:
- General fatigue
- Sore throat or mouth
- Burning eyes
However usual these initial symptoms may be, SJS will quickly develop into something much more severe. It may be difficult to tell if the condition you’re experiencing at first is a flu or something else, but as it develops you will notice more unique and severe symptoms. Once these appear, seek medical attention as soon as possible to help start treatments and prevent permanent injury or death.
These symptoms include:
- Painful red or purple skin
- Skin that peels or looks heavily blistered
- Clusters of blisters around your mouth, nose, eyes, and genitals
- Red, swollen, painful, watery eyes
It may take a few days for these symptoms to appear but act promptly once they do. While you see blistering on the outside, there is also blistering accruing within the body of a person suffering from SJS. This can make it difficult to swallow, go to the bathroom, and digest. Getting treatment quickly can prevent permanent damage from occurring to your internal organs and help alleviate symptoms faster.
What Are Treatments for SJS?
Treatment can be complicated and may take weeks or months. The first step is removing the medication from a person’s system if the medicine is responsible for the onset of the syndrome. Then the individual must have their blisters and skin abrasions treated. A major part of treatment is alleviating the pain while the skin heals and regrows from the outbreak.
Overall, treatment can take a while to make sure the skin heals and grows back well without complications. This process can take weeks or months, depending upon the severity of the initial syndrome.
How Do You Get, or Know That You Could Develop, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome can happen for several reasons. The first is drugs or medicines, and the second is because of previously compromised health. Some of these medications include:
- Common gout medications
- Seizure medications
- Mental illness medications
- Some antibiotics
- Pain relievers, particularly in children
If you discover that a drug is responsible for your Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, you can no longer imbibe that medication and should avoid other medications from the same family of medicine.
A person may be more susceptible to SJS for health reasons, some of these reasons may be:
- Compromised immune systems, like those associated with HIV
- Very young and very old people are more susceptible
- Cancer, and cancer treatments
- A personal history with SJS
- A family or genetic history with SJS
Can This Condition Be Mild?
The simple answer to this question is no.
Any case of SJS is a medical emergency. While some cases of this syndrome may show less severe symptoms than in another case, any breaking out of Sevens-Johnson Syndrome should be treated seriously and addressed quickly. If these symptoms suddenly develop and increase in severity, then you should quickly call emergency services or get someone to take you to the ER.
Treat these symptoms extremely seriously and stop taking all medications until you can work with a doctor to identify which medications activated the Stevens-Johnson Syndrome.
Consult with an Attorney
If you, or your loved one, has suffered a severe injury or wrongful death at the hands of a medical professional or institution, consult with an attorney to see if your case has validity. Failure to diagnose this condition can mean that you or your loved one was forced to have increasingly worse symptoms that could have led–or did lead to—death. If you believe the onset and worsening of this condition was because of medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering caused by this syndrome.
Contact McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt to find an experienced lawyer to handle your case. You can find a lawyer that knows how to deal with medical cases that center around Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. If you need help getting the compensation you deserve, visit the McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt website, or fill out a contact sheet.