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Woman sues Bayer for selling dangerous product after coma

Many Illinois residents rely on Alka-Seltzer to help eliminate their cold and cough symptoms, but one woman says that the medication caused such severe side effects that she was in a coma for 31 days. The victim, who purchased the dangerous product in January 2013, said she was seeking relief from her cold symptoms, so she took the Alka-Selzer product before going to bed. She says she developed a serious reaction that started with blisters in her mouth and led to a horrific coma and illness that left her with much of her skin missing.

The Nevada woman had flown to Lake Tahoe for a weekend trip when her symptoms worsened. An urgent care center doctor told the woman that she might have developed a rare disorder known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, which occurs when skin and mucous membranes react to medication or an infection. The top layer of skin usually dies during this experience. Medical experts say that treatment for such a condition can take months because it can be difficult to purge the victim's body of all traces of the medication.

The woman was already unconscious by the time she boarded a medical flight back to Las Vegas. She spent a month in a coma in the University Medical Center there, after which she awoke to discover that 70 percent of her skin was missing. The woman is seeking financial damages from Bayer, the manufacturer of the medication, and Wal-Mart, which sold her the dangerous product.

News reports show that the woman is seeking compensation for consumer injury, including claims for deceit by concealment, defective design and negligent representation, among others. The woman's medical bills are almost certainly astronomical, considering the fact that she was hospitalized for such a significant amount of time. The manufacturers of dangerous products should be held accountable for causing such a horrifying illness.

Source:  Courthouse News Service, "Woman Blames Alka-Seltzer for Coma" Mike Heuer, May. 23, 2014

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