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Papers of the Week

2022 Feb




Stevens-Johnson Syndrome in a Patient of Color: A Case Report and an Assessment of Diversity in Medical Education Resources.


Diep D, Aluri B, Crane A, Miao K, Kannan KS, Goldsteen R
Cureus. 2022 Feb; 14(2):e22245.
PMID: 35340465.


This is a review of a patient encounter that underscores the common trend of insufficient inclusivity and lack of diversity regarding skin of color representation in teaching materials including textbooks in the medical education setup. A Black woman who was treated with carbamazepine for trigeminal neuralgia after a dental procedure presented with upper airway breathing difficulties and facial pain and swelling. After doubling her dose of carbamazepine as advised by her primary care physician, her symptoms continued to worsen, and she was treated in the emergency department for a presumed allergic reaction of unknown etiology. Two days later, her symptoms progressively worsened. She self-admitted to the emergency department, where she required cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Eventually, the formal diagnosis of carbamazepine-induced Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) was made based on history, clinical presentation, and skin biopsy. The nature of the disease progression in this case prompted our investigation into the lack of representation of skin of color in current medical training resources regarding SJS. Our assessment demonstrates that there is a significant underrepresentation of SJS in skin of color in medical educational resources. Increased inclusivity of skin disorders in patients of color is crucial in training healthcare professionals to recognize life-threatening cutaneous disorders quickly and accurately in such patients.