Steven Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a rare yet devastating reaction to medication or infection. Also called toxic epidermal necrolysis or TEN, SJS causes the skin and mucous membranes to blister and die in sheets. For survivors, the aftermath can mean blindness, organ damage, loss of digits, and excruciating scars. If you or a loved one has suffered harm from SJS, a lawsuit may help you gain compensation. But first, understanding SJS and its causes can build a foundation for your case.
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What Exactly is SJS?
SJS emerges as a severe reaction often to a new medication. It causes widespread blistering and sloughing of the skin and mucocutaneous surfaces inside the mouth. The condition usually begins with flu-like symptoms of fever and fatigue.
Within days a burning rash appears, rapidly developing into blisters and erosion of the epidermis. The affected skin detaches in sheets, leaving raw, vulnerable areas prone to dangerous infections.
SJS primarily impacts the mucous membranes like the eyes, mouth, nose, and genitals. Ocular problems occur in 50-75% of SJS patients. Dry eye, conjunctivitis, ulcers, keratitis, and symblepharon often lead to visual impairment or blindness. Mucosal involvement also means difficulty eating, talking, and urinating. SJS requires intensive wound and infection care to prevent sepsis. Nearly 30% of cases result in death.
What Causes This Rare Reaction?
The rarity of SJS makes it difficult for doctors to recognize the early symptoms and intervene before extensive damage occurs. While the exact SJS mechanism remains unclear, research points to complex interactions between medications, genetics, and the immune system.
SJS occurs in only 1-2 cases per million people each year. However, certain medications raise the risk exponentially. Anti-convulsants, allopurinol, sulfonamides, oxicams, and nevirapine prove especially problematic.
Experts suspect interactions between these drugs, HLA genes, and T-lymphocytes trigger widespread apoptosis. This leads to the destruction of keratinocytes in the skin and mucosal regions. Viral infections like herpes may also play a role in the onset of SJS. Ultimately, the cause depends on each patient’s unique genetic makeup and medication regimen.
Finding Accountability Through Litigation
Unfortunately, many SJS cases arise from a pharmaceutical company’s failure to acknowledge medication risks. If you or someone you love developed SJS after taking a new prescription, you may have grounds for legal action. By filing an SJS lawsuit, victims can gain compensation for immense medical costs and loss of income. Financial settlements also provide acknowledgment when negligence has caused profound suffering.
Success begins by choosing the right Steven Johnson syndrome lawyers. You need lawyers well-versed in complex product liability and personal injury litigation. They must demonstrate compassion along with expertise in guiding SJS clients through the legal process. An adept SJS litigator thoroughly investigates root causes, builds a compelling argument for accountability, and fights for maximum compensation.
Building Your Best Case With Skilled Steven Johnson Syndrome Lawyers
With experienced Steven Johnson syndrome lawyers like Texas-based Dunn Sheehan LLP in your corner, you can pursue justice and take steps toward healing. Though SJS can’t be undone, holding at-fault parties financially responsible remains important. It not only helps victims regain stability but motivates better practices that protect others from preventable harm.