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Stevens Johnson Syndrome

Medical Malpractice Lawyers Assisting Patients in the Ocala Area

Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a dermatological condition involving rashes and blisters on the body. It often develops due to an adverse reaction to a prescription medication, such as Lamictal and other anticonvulsant medications, sulfa drugs, barbiturates, and NSAIDs. In some cases, Stevens Johnson Syndrome develops or worsens in response to medical malpractice. At the Dean Law Firm, our Ocala medical malpractice lawyers may be able to help you recover damages in this situation.

Understanding the Risks and Effects of Stevens Johnson Syndrome

Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a serious medical condition, and in some cases, it can be life-threatening. While it is often a reaction to certain medications like anticonvulsants, Stevens Johnson Syndrome can also be caused by a bacterial or viral infection or a malignant disease. There are certain conditions that increase the risk of Stevens Johnson, such as systemic lupus or HIV infection. There may also be a genetic susceptibility to the syndrome. Sometimes symptoms are misdiagnosed or overlooked, and this can result in the medical condition worsening.

If Stevens Johnson progresses into an immune complex hypersensitivity reaction, the result may be lesions and blisters on mucous membranes and genitals, a sore throat, a headache, fatigue, fevers, coughs, and rashes. Blisters may ulcerate and shed. This reaction can lead to significant conditions, such as blindness, severe scarring, difficulties regulating body temperature, or vision issues. You may need to be hospitalized. Sometimes Stevens Johnson Syndrome progresses to death.

Diagnosis of this condition is based on what lesions look like, microscopic examination of skin lesion biopsies, and tests. Generally, doctors treating Stevens Johnson Syndrome focus on eliminating the underlying cause of the condition. The goal is to minimize complications and control symptoms like blisters and rash. It is important for doctors to prevent infection and control any illness that is causing the condition. Antibiotics may need to be administered. In some cases, intravenous immunoglobulins are used to stop the disease.

If a large portion of the body is affected, you may need skin grafting. It can take months for this condition to be fully and adequately treated, depending on how severe the risk was. Once immune complex hypersensitivity has developed, potential complications include toxic epidermal necrolysis, sepsis, shock, permanent skin damage, and lesions of internal organs.

Prompt diagnosis and identification of what is causing Stevens Johnson Syndrome are essential to reduce the risk of serious injuries and death. In some cases, a doctor or hospital may be held liable for injuries arising out of Stevens Johnson Syndrome. In other cases, there may be a basis for your attorney to file a products liability claim against the manufacturer based on failure to warn.

To hold a health care provider liable for medical malpractice, you will need to show that it is more likely than not that: (1) the defendant owed you a professional duty of care, (2) the defendant breached the professional duty of care, (3) actual and proximate causation, and (4) actual damages. For example, if there was a risk of Stevens Johnson associated with a medication prescribed by your doctor, and the doctor failed to diagnose Stevens Johnson Syndrome when you arrived with symptoms of it, so the condition worsened to an immune complex hypersensitivity reaction that affected your whole body and caused serious scarring, you may be able to show medical malpractice.

The prevailing professional standard of care for a particular doctor is the level of skill, care, and treatment that reasonably prudent similar health care providers recognize as appropriate and acceptable. We will need to retain an expert on the issues of what the defendant's duty was under the circumstances, whether they breached it, and causation.

Seek Advice from an Ocala Lawyer for Your Medical Malpractice Case

Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a life-threatening, drug-induced reaction that can disable or even kill an otherwise healthy person. The disorder can damage blood vessels in the skin as well as tissue. At the Dean Law Firm, our experienced Ocala trial attorneys may be able to sue a doctor or medical practice on your behalf if you or a loved one was harmed by Stevens Johnson Syndrome stemming from medical malpractice. We serve the families of patients harmed by medical malpractice in Ocala, The Villages, Crystal River, and other areas of Citrus, Levy, Sumter, Marion, and Lake Counties. Contact us at 352-387-8700 or through our online form.