Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Stevens-Johnson syndrome, also known as epidermal necrolysis, is an immune overreaction to viral infections or an allergic reaction to antibiotics. This type of serious reaction is considered a medical emergency, but fortunately is rare. This reaction increases the chances of further infection occurring as it affects the skin (can also affect mucosal membranes and the eyes) and causes it to slough off. The resultant skin lesions leave open sores highly susceptible to bacterial invasion. Stevens-Johnson syndrome is treated much like third-degree burns. Symptoms of Stevens-Johnson syndrome are:

  • Starts with flu-like symptoms-fever, sore throat, cough
  • Rash or blisters (can be on the face, trunk, mouth, limbs, feet) that are painful, spreading, and sloughing
  • Aches
  • Facial, tongue swelling
  • Hives
  • Joint pain

Many viruses can cause the Stevens-Johnson syndrome reaction to occur.  These include Cat scratch fever, diphtheria, Epstein-Barr virus, flu virus, herpes simplex virus, hepatitis virus, human immunodeficiency virus, histoplasmosis (fungal infection), mumps virus, and typhoid (bacterial infection). Any of the previous are considered risk factors for Stevens-Johnson syndrome, as are the sulpha drugs, other antibiotics, and anticonvulsants. Complications of Stevens-Johnson syndrome are:

  • Cellulitis-skin inflammation that can lead to organ inflammation
  • Eye problems, blindness
  • Permanent skin damage
  • Sepsis, septicemia

If you or a loved one suffered a worsening condition due to a misdiagnosis of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, you may be eligible for damages. Call the experts at the Sweeney Law Firm and let us review the facts. You may have a medical malpractice case. If we take your case, we work on a contingency fee basis- meaning there is no cost for representation unless a settlement or recovery of funds is made on your behalf. 

Related skin disease articles on this site: Cellulitis, Morphea, Sweet’s syndrome, Fifth disease, and Parvovirus