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Proud Veteran Fights a New Battle with Stevens Johnson Syndrome

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Pontiac, MIEd Lasseigne does not deserve his fate. The one-time police officer for the City of Pontiac went on to serve with distinction with the Michigan Army National Guard’s 1775th Military Police Company, and did a tour of duty in Afghanistan for a year ending in February 2012, before coming home and hooking up with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department as Deputy Sheriff. Now, Lasseigne is fighting a new battle with Stevens Johnson Syndrome.

This is a battle he doesn’t deserve. No one does, as it is horrific and sometimes deadly.

SJS often begins with a Stevens Johnson Syndrome rash, before rapidly evolving to produce blisters, skin lesions and the loss of large quantities of the upper layer of dermis akin to a serious burn. Doctors have previously described the condition as an individual burning from the inside out.

That’s what Lasseigne is going through. According to The Oakland Press (7/30/14), the patient is slowly beginning to recover from his Stevens Johnson Syndrome symptoms, which often include vision problems that can lead to a lifetime of increased sensitivity to light. In Lasseigne’s case, he is beginning to regain some of the vision lost to the horrific condition.

But it’s a long SJS road for the proud deputy sheriff and former military man. He may face reconstructive surgery and physiotherapy before he can return to work, whenever that is. He has no idea when he can return to work.

Lasseigne’s local community is poised to hold a benefit dinner on his behalf as a show of support, and to raise funds for medical bills.

There was no mention in the report as to what may have triggered Lasseigne’s Stevens Johnson Syndrome skin disease. No one knows the cause of the auto-immune disorder. But in the majority of cases, SJS has been triggered by the use of medication - both prescription medication and over-the-counter (OTC) meds. Thus far, there is no indication as to why this happens. Neither is there even speculation as to why an individual can use a specific OTC pain medication successfully in the past, only to encounter SJS rash and an allergic reaction down the road.

To that end, new research appearing in the medical journal JAMA has determined a link to Stevens Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) and other severe cutaneous adverse reactions from Phenytoin, reported to be a widely prescribed antiepileptic drug. This, according to Shuen-In Hung, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Pharmacology with the National Yang-Ming University located in Taipei, Taiwan, and colleagues.

The study authors caution that more research is required - but the link is definitely there. And it serves to further illustrate both the role of medication in the triggering of Stevens Johnson Syndrome, and the apparent inability of manufacturers to fully warn consumers about the possibility of SJS. Numerous Stevens Johnson Syndrome lawyers have based lawsuits on the allegation that manufacturers minimize the potential for the grievous condition.

Plaintiffs hold that had they known about the possibility of Stevens Johnson Syndrome symptoms, putting their own health or those of their children at risk, they would have chosen another medication - or taken none at all.

READ ABOUT STEVENS JOHNSON SYNDROME (SJS) LAWSUITS

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