August 2007 was designated last month as Stevens Johnson Syndrome Awareness Month by Governor Ritter of Colorado. Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is an allergic reaction that is caused by various drugs, many of which are over-the-counter. More than 140,000 deaths are caused each year by SJS and it annually affects more than two million Americans. Colorado has been joined by Arizona, Alabama, Connecticut and Tennessee in recognizing SJS Awareness Month.
SJS can be caused by almost any medication, including anti-biotics, anti-convulsants and pain killers. It is a deadly reaction causing severe burning, blistering and sloughing of skin and involved tissue. SJS frequently causes blindness and results in death in up to 30% of the cases. Recognizing early symptoms of SJS and providing prompt medical attention are the most valuable tools to minimizing long-term damage. Almost any drug can cause SJS, even ibuprofen. Other drugs that have been linked to SJS are Bactrim, Bextra, Celebrex, Allopurinol and sulfa antibiotics.
To recognize SJS in its earliest stage, the SJS foundation urges patients and physicians to watch for the following symptoms when taking medications, especially sulfa-based drugs:
• persistent fever;
• burning or blistering of the mucous membranes in the eyes, ears, mouth, nose and genital area;
• rash, blisters or red splotches on skin;
• flu like symptoms; and
• history of a reaction to prescribed drugs or over-the-counter medications.
Our firm has handled a number of cases where our clients had received injuries as a result of SJS. In each case the injury was most severe leaving our client with a significant disabling impairment. To learn more about SJS, visit our Web site at www.beasleyallen.com. You can also contact Frank Woodson, one of the lawyers in our Mass Torts Section, for more information.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
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