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Stevens-Johnson Syndrome – what it is and how you can get it

 Stevens Johnson Syndrome   what it is and how you can get it

Newell – Morgan Stuen, 11-year-old Newell school student,thought he had the same thing as his mother had been diagnosed withseveral days before he started feeling achy, ran a fever andfinally broke out in blisters that soon spread and even appeared inhis mouth and eyes. He did not have strep, but it was not untildoctors diagnosed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome that he and his familyrealized how serious this medical condition was. Signs and symptomsof Stevens-Johnson syndrome include swelling of the face andtongue, hives, skin pain, a red or purple skin rash that spreadswithin hours or days, blisters on the skin and in mucous membranes,especially the mouth, nose and eyes and eventual shedding orsloughing of the skin, according to Mayo Clinic staff doctors.Prior to the onset of the physical symptoms a person can feel asore throat, have a cough and burning eyes and run a fever.

Stevens-Johnson syndrome is a rare, serious disorder in which yourskin and mucous membranes react severely to a medication orinfection. often, Stevens-Johnson syndrome begins with flu-likesymptoms, followed by a painful rash that spreads and blisters,eventually causing the top layer of your skin to die and shed. Thesyndrome presents a medical emergency that usually requireshospitalization. this was the case for Morgan Stuen. He waslife-flighted to the Denver Children’s Hospital within hours ofbeing diagnosed.

Treatment focuses on eliminating the underlying cause, controllingsymptoms and minimizing complications. Recovery can take weeks tomonths, depending on the severity of the condition. if thecondition was caused by medication, that will be something thatMorgan will not ever be able to take again, even medication that isrelated to the type that was taken. some medicines that can causethe condition are anti-gout medications, nonsteroidalanti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for pain, penicillin used to treatinfections and anti-convulsants used to treat seizures.

Infectious causes can stem from Herpes (herpes simplex or herpeszoster), Influenza, HIV, Diphtheria, Typhoid, and Hepatitis.

In some cases, Stevens-Johnson syndrome may be caused by physicalstimuli, such as radiation therapy or ultraviolet light. Thesyndrome is a rare and unpredictable reaction. No test is availableto help predict who is at risk. some factors, however, may increasethe risk including viral infections, diseases that decrease yourimmunity and systemic lupus erythematosus which is a chronicinflammatory disease. A gene called HLA-B12 may make a person moresusceptible to Stevens-Johnson syndrome.

If a person suspects they may have the syndrome, they need to seekimmediate medical attention. Symptoms could include widespread,unexplained skin pain, swelling in the face and tongue, blisters onskin and in mucous membranes, hives, a rash or shedding of theskin. Secondary infections may also result such as cellulitis withis a skin infection; sepsis which occurs when bacteria frominfection enters the bloodstream and spread throughout the bodycausing organ failure; infection or extensive tissue damage andscarring within your eyes that can result in blindness. it can alsolead to damage to internal organs, such as lungs, heart, kidney andliver and may result in permanent skin damage with abnormal bumpsand coloring. Scars may remain on the skin and lasting skinproblems may cause hair to fall out, and fingernails and toenailsmay not grow normally.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome – what it is and how you can get it

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