A Georgia woman has claimed she was given the improper dosage of a medication and suffered from a rare and severe skin disease.
In 2014, 26-year-old Khaliah Shaw of Snellville saw a doctor because she had feelings of depression. She was given a prescription for lamotrigine to treat bi-polar disorder. At first, the medication had no adverse effects on Shaw, yet two weeks later, she noticed a troubling side effect.
“I was in excruciating pain. It felt like I was on fire,” she told Alive 11.
Shaw woke up with blisters all over her body and a severe rash. She soon sought medical attention and was told she had Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a rare serious skin disorder caused by a reaction to medication or an incorrect dosage.
“It essentially causes your body to burn from the inside out and you pretty much just melt,” Shaw told Alive 11.
As Shaw’s skin began to slowly peel away from her body, she spent five weeks in a medically induced coma. There is no cure for Stevens Johnson Syndrome and she could experience a relapse in symptoms at any moment.
Shaw believes there was an error in the dosage given to her and her pharmacist did not catch the error.
“This did not have to happen. This was not just some sort of fluke in my opinion. This happened as a directly result of somebody’s error,” said Shaw.
According to the lawsuit filed on her behalf, Shaw’s medical care is expected to be long and expensive. Her bills have already reached $3.45 million.
Trent Speckhals and Robert Roll, attorneys who specialize in medication error litigation, represent Shaw.
“We continue to see the same errors over and over. [They’re] typically the result of pharmacists being too rushed, too busy, filling too many prescriptions and the use of [pharmacy] techs that really don’t have the training and the ability that a pharmacist would," Speckhals told Alive11. "That’s one of the sad things, shocking things about it. It continues to happen at an alarming rate."
Shaw hopes her ordeal helps everyone to better educate themselves before taking any medication.
"Be an advocate for yourself. Educate before you medicate," she said. "Know what the side effects are."
(Photo: Khaliah Shaw via Facebook)