Did Motrin Trigger Teen's Heroic Battle with Stevens Johnson Syndrome?

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Baton Rouge, LAIt may have been the Motrin Jasmin Bindom was given in the hospital when she wasn't feeling well. Or perhaps it was another over-the-counter (OTC) medication she had taken at home just prior. Or a combination of the two. The bottom line, however, is that for the New Orleans teen Stevens Johnson Syndromeand the need to fight for her life proved one aspect of being Sweet 16 the young adolescent did not foresee.

SJS is a rare skin disease thought to be triggered, in part, by an allergic reaction to OTC medication such as Motrin. Previous and ongoing lawsuits allege the innocent dispensation of OTC medications such as Children's Motrin to treat symptoms ranging from a fever to a toothache has led to grievous illness suffered by children and adolescents never meant to endure such horrific injuries. Many are left with permanent scars, and light sensitivity resulting from injuries to the eyes.

Jasmin is out of hospital now—but according to a report by 4WWL Television New Orleans (5/23/12) last summer was filled with crisis as she spent the summer following her junior year in the burn unit of Baton Rouge General Hospital fighting for her life.

It was the worst case of Stevens Johnson Syndrome doctors had ever seen, with the skin from the top of her head to the tips of her toenails covered in blisters akin to third-degree burns. Her mother, according to the report, described her daughter's body as having swelled to three times its normal size.

"This is the worst case of Stevens Johnson I have seen on a child," said Dr. Dhaval Adhvaryu, an acute care and burn surgeon at Baton Rouge General Hospital and Baton Rouge General Physicians. "Sixteen-year-old girl, beautiful, young girl with almost 100 percent loss of skin and no etiology."

It was worse than standard SJS, which is bad enough on its own. Jasmin actually suffered from toxic epidermal necrolysis, or TEN—the most aggressive form of Stevens Johnson Syndrome. At one point doctors had to place Jasmin in a self-induced coma, in order to treat her.

"It's considered a hypersensitive immune system reaction against one's self," said Dr. Theron McCormick, a pediatric allergist and immunologist, and the pediatric medical director of Our Lady of the Lake physician group. "I've seen multiple cases as a reaction to a lot of antibiotics and to some cases, what we call idiopathic, meaning we don't know the reason why. A good 40 to 50 percent of the cases we don't end up having the underlying cause."

Jasmin had not taken antibiotics, but she had taken Extra Strength Tylenol at home and was administered Motrin in hospital before SJS or TEN was apparent. The cause may never be known. Because Jasmin's case involved two OTC meds, it may complicate a potential lawsuit should the Bindom family decide to pursue one.

The bottom line, however, remains the year that the former cheerleader will never get back. And at an age when teens tend to obsess over their appearance, Jasmin at 17 now has to deal with facial scars, which—even with treatment—may never completely disappear.

"I think she understands this, that the scars are not going to be completely gone," said Dr. Elizabeth McBurney, a noted dermatologist and past president of both the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery and the Women's Dermatologic Society, who begins treating Jasmin this month. "What we're hoping to do is flatten [the scars] out to make them smooth, but she will still have scars on all of these areas, they just won't be these raised, red, tender, painful nodules that she has now."

Regardless of the cause of Jasmin's pain and suffering, the physical and emotional scars encountered by Stevens Johnson Syndrome patients who can point to Children's Motrin as a likely cause, is incalculable.

Children's Motrin SJS Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to a drugs & medical lawyer who may evaluate your Children's Motrin SJS claim at no cost or obligation.

Reader Comments

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In 1995, Motrin Killed my 47 year old diabetic wife. MDs would not acknowledge it and she literally bled to death. Nobody would help me.

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