How to Treat SJS and TEN
Medical professionals who diagnose Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) typically try to identify the cause of the conditions as soon as possible. In circumstances where SJS or TEN is the result of a reaction to a medication, such as ibuprofen, doctors will immediately put a halt to administration of the drug to the patient. They will also instruct that patient to never take that drug again, as doing so could result in death.
From that point, there is no curative treatment available to individuals suffering from SJS or TEN. Though there is no treatment available to stop the reactions from occurring, doctors can provide pain management techniques to make patients more comfortable throughout the process. Additionally, some treatments exist to help relegate the seriousness and term of a person’s reaction.
Some of these treatments include giving TEN and SJS patients human immunoglobin through an IV. Human immunoglobulin helps slow or stop skin damage and blistering. Other treatments include corticosteroids, which suppresses the immune system to help the body stop fighting against itself. However, with little immune function, corticosteroids may backfire by leaving patients vulnerable to developing a bacterial infection in the open lesions in the skin. Cyclophosphamide and cyclosporine are also common treatments, but have little record or success.
Additional care is given to patients with especially severe cases of toxic epidermal necrolysis. Because the burn-like skin wounds can cover large portions of the body, medical personnel must continuously care for the skin, replacing bandages, removing dead skin and administering antibiotics to stave off potentially deadly infections.
For added safety, hospitalized TEN and SJS patients may be housed in an intensive care unit, where they can be carefully observed in much of the same way a burn victim would be. Nurses and doctors will make sure patients remain well-hydrated and regularly check to see whether lesions and blisters are spreading to a patient’s mucous membrane, at which time additional care is required.
Mucous membranes that may be affected by TEN include the genitals, the lungs, areas of the digestive system and the eyes, nose, throat and other bodily organs. This is particularly dangerous, because it can make eating and drinking impossible, and it can also cause difficulty breathing. Furthermore, many patients may experience permanent damage, such as scarring in the lungs and eyes, which can result in blindness.
Please note that while we care deeply for victims of SJS and TEN, we are not doctors and the information listed here is strictly for educational purposes only. If you suffer from SJS or TEN, be sure to discuss your treatment options with your doctor. However, we can help you if you would like to pursue compensation for your condition. Our SJS and TEN lawyers will work hard to bring those responsible to justice so you can focus your energy and attention on your health.