What Is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)?
Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare medical condition usually caused by an allergic reaction to medication. Victims can experience extreme pain, severe skin rashes, and necrolysis. In some situations, your SJS could be caused by medical malpractice or negligence on the part of your medical caregiver or pharmacist.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with this painful and life-altering condition, you may have questions about how it happened, what effects you may experience, and how SJS will affect your future. You may also wonder how you will manage the medical costs on your own.
Our Stevens-Johnson syndrome attorneys at SJS Firm can help clients get the compensation they deserve and need to manage this disease. When your suffering is the result of someone else’s negligence, you shouldn’t have to carry the burden. An SJS lawyer can answer your questions and hold any negligent parties accountable.
Who Is Most Likely to Develop Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)?
Although anyone can develop Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), certain groups are more likely to receive a diagnosis. In general, SJS is:
- More common in children and those under the age of 30
- Also common in the elderly
- More common in females than males
- More likely in people who have cancer
- More likely in people who are HIV-positive or have systemic lupus erythematosus
- More likely in those with a family history of SJS
When adults are diagnosed with SJS, it is most commonly caused by medications. However, certain drugs are most likely to cause the condition. These include antibacterial sulfa drugs, anti-epileptic drugs, and drugs that are used to treat kidney stones and gout. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can also cause SJS.
What Complications Can SJS Cause?
Depending on the severity of your condition, you may experience several different complications. No matter how severe your case of SJS is, an SJS lawyer can work with you to get the compensation you need to treat your lasting health effects and permanent injuries.
SJS patients may experience any of the following complications:
- Blisters on the mucous membranes
- Pain and body aches
- Peeling, blotchy skin
- Painful urination
- Organ failure
- Eyes that are sealed shut
In approximately 10% of cases, SJS will be fatal. Approximately 50% of cases of TENS will also lead to death. If you’ve lost a loved one to SJS or TENS, you have the right to pursue compensation for your financial losses, pain, and mental anguish. Contact an SJS attorney today to get started on your case.
How Is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Treated?
Before SJS patients receive treatment, they will be asked to discontinue the use of non-essential medications.
Since SJS is caused by prescription and OTC drugs, limiting the use of medications can help you recover from your condition and allow you to identify which medication may have caused it.
Hospital treatments for SJS involve fluid replacement, nutrition, and wound care. The fluid replacement and nutrient infusions you receive at the hospital can help with skin loss.
Wound care aims to heal damaged skin and blisters, relieve pain, and remove dead skin. Depending on your condition, you may also need eye care from an ophthalmologist.
A doctor may also prescribe the following medications to aid you in your recovery:
- Pain medication: SJS can leave patients with extreme discomfort and pain. A doctor may prescribe painkillers to help you stay comfortable during your recovery period.
- Anti-inflammatory medication: Anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce inflammation of the mucous membranes and the eyes.
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics can be administered to help your body fight off infection.
- Additional medications: Doctors have found that corticosteroids and intravenous immune globulin medications can help patients recuperate from SJS.
SJS patients can quickly rack up steep medical bills. If you’ve received expensive hospital treatments and other medical care for your medication-induced SJS, you shouldn’t have to pay out-of-pocket. Our SJS lawyers can help you pursue the damages you need to cover your bills.
Locate a Burn Center
A burn center can offer the care you need to treat SJS. You can find a burn unit near you by using the American Burn Association online “find a burn center” tool. If you’re located in CA, NC, SC, or GA, consider one of the following top burn units:
- Joseph M. Still Burn Center (Augusta, GA)
- The Grossman Burn Center ( Bakersfield, CA)
- The South Carolina Burn Center (Charleston, SC)
- Jayce Burn Center (Chapel Hill, NC)
What Is the Prognosis for People With Stevens-Johnson Syndrome?
Since each patient’s reaction to Stevens-Johnson syndrome can be slightly different, there’s no standard prognosis for all individuals affected by SJS. Some patients experience skin regrowth in as little as a few weeks, while others can take months to recover fully.
Serious cases of SJS may leave you with several long-term reactions, including:
- Dry or itchy skin
- Change in skin color
- Difficulty seeing and light sensitivity
- Swelling, dryness, or chronic irritation of the eyes
- Lung damage, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Nail deformity or loss
- Hair loss
- Problems with urinating
- Problems with sense of taste
Once you’ve recovered, you may develop SJS again if you take the medication that caused your first case of the disorder. Developing SJS a second time often results in more severe symptoms. Consulting with a doctor to identify the medication that caused your SJS is crucial to your health.
Once you’ve determined which medication triggered your SJS, an SJS lawyer can help you take action against the pharmaceutical company.
Can You File a Lawsuit for SJS?
Depending on the facts of your case, your lawyers can help gather and preserve evidence that will help your claim for compensation. Evidence to support a Stevens-Johnson syndrome case can include:
- Medical records
- Testimony from medical caregivers
- Expert witness testimony
- Defective drug information
The more evidence an SJS attorney can add to your case, the stronger your claim to compensation will be.
What’s the Value of an SJS Claim?
There is no set value for a personal injury claim involving Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Instead, the amount of compensation you are owed depends on the extent of your damages, both financial and non-financial. Getting in touch with skilled attorneys who have experience handling SJS cases is the best way to determine the value of your specific claim.
Economic Damages You Can Be Compensated for
Stevens-Johnson syndrome can be extremely painful and can even develop into another life-threatening condition known as toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN). It’s common to experience economic damages due to SJS, including medical bills, future care for SJS or TEN, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and more.
Our SJS lawyers will catalog your economic harms related to developing SJS so that you get a more accurate estimate of the amount of compensation you should receive.
Non-Economic Damages You Can Be Compensated for
While economic damages can help as part of your compensation, they don’t often address the real horrors of SJS. You should also be compensated for non-economic harms that stem from developing Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Typically, these damages include:
- Your physical pain
- Mental and emotional suffering due to the disease
- The psychological toll of losing a limb or becoming disfigured
- Loss of consortium with your spouse
- Loss of enjoyment in life
This type of damage is much harder to evaluate. Unlike economic harms, they don’t come with receipts or bills attached. Instead, your SJS lawyer will use a metric provided by the legal system to determine how much compensation you should receive.
Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Attorneys Negotiate on Your Behalf
Most lawsuits resolve during the negotiation phase before actually being litigated in a courtroom. Still, no one likes arguing for the money you rightly deserve with insurance agents, opposing legal counsel, and the party who harmed you.
That’s where our SJS attorneys can take a load off your mind. Insurance agencies and opposing counsel have a singular goal. They want their client to pay you as little as possible, no matter how nice or friendly they seem.
By hiring an experienced lawyer, you signal that you will not be taken advantage of. It also shows that you aren’t afraid to take the case to court if the other side won’t agree to a fair offer. Don’t settle for a lowball offer that doesn’t adequately meet your future needs.
Talk to Stevens-Johnson Syndrome Lawyers for FREE
SJS Firm focuses on several types of personal injury cases, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome cases. We provide all clients with a FREE consultation to better understand the details of your case, go over your legal options, and determine how we can help you.
To schedule your appointment with Stevens-Johnson syndrome attorneys, fill out the form on our contact page or call our office today. If an SJS lawyer from our firm agrees to take on your case, they’ll fight for the settlement or verdict you need to cover your medical bills and other losses.