What is TSS? Be Aware of Toxic Shock Syndrome

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What is TSS? Be Aware of Toxic Shock Syndrome
If you’re experiencing sudden high fever, a faint feeling, watery diarrhea, headaches and muscle aches. Then you better call the doctor right away because you might have been hit by’¦ a Toxic Shock Syndrome.

What is a Toxic Shock Syndrome?
It is an illness cause by bacterial toxins and this could be potentially fatal. There are lots of bacterial toxins that can cause toxic shock syndrome. Sometimes it depends on the situation. There are two types of this condition:

  1. The toxic shock syndrome is caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and has been associated with the use of tampons. Researchers presume that high-absorbency tampons provide a warm atmosphere that bacteria could thrive.
  2. This one is caused by Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria and sometimes referred as Streptococcal Toxic Shock Syndrome (STSS). Most often, STSS appears as the Streptococcus bacteria have finished invading injured skins; such as cuts, bruises, scrapes, surgical wounds or even chicken pox blisters.

What makes Toxic shock syndrome a fatal case?
TSS resulting from infections with the first type of bacterium occasionally builds itself to healthy individuals with high fever, accompanied by low blood pressure, malaise and confusion, in which later progress into stupor, coma, and multiple organ failure. And that’s totally fatal.  Rashes or sunburns are evidently seen in any region in your body such as lips, mouth, eyes, palm, and soles.

While the TSS caused by the second type or the STSS exists in people with pre-existing skin infections with bacteria. Those individuals who have STSS often experience severe pain at the site of the skin infection, followed by the symptoms described above in contrast to the TSS caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

How to treat this disease?
Treating this illness frequently requires hospitalization depending on the severity of the situation. Sometimes, admission to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is necessary for supportive care, particularly on multiple organ failure cases.

The goal of treating this disease is to remove the source of the infection or drain if possible. Women wearing a tampon during the spread of infection must remove it quickly to prevent further infection.

Antibiotics should work just fine and enough to cover both TSS and STSS infections. This includes cephalosporins , penicillin, or vancomycin. And also to help reduce toxin productions and mortality, add gentamicin or clindamycin.

After proper treatment, successfully treated patients will recover in two to three weeks. This condition, however, can be fatal every hour. So, patients must be regularly checked.

How does tampons contributed to the formation of this disease?
It has been a controversy to Procter and Gamble, about the disadvantage of using their super absorbent tampons. These tampons are used by women during 1978 and it could contain an entire menstrual flow without worrying about leakage or replacement.  The product seemed successful until the discovery of TSS, mostly in menstruating women. It was proven that the cause of this widespread epidemic is contributed by the product and was forcedly removed from the market.

Those cases in women declined as soon as the product was removed.

If you’re having these syndromes, be ready and stay on focus. You’ll never know when disease hits you, you only have to brace for it and be prepared so it won’t hurt you badly.

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One Response

  1. Lisa Elifritz

    November 28, 2011 9:28 pm

    My daughter died of tampon related TSS last summer; she was diligent about hygiene, used only regular tampons and changed very often for fear of TSS. If you are young (under 30) you most likely don’t yet have the antibodies against the toxins so please use 100% cotton tampons only. It’s rayon in the tampons that make toxins. Toxin production begins 2 hours after putting in a tampon and changing tampons doesn’t remove it; it waits inside for the next tampon to keep getting stronger. Your body needs 8 hours tampon free to let this toxin dissipate. This is why you should never, ever sleep in a tampon.
    Scientific evidence proves that 100% cotton tampons produce no toxins and are totally safe. These are available at health food stores and online.
    In memory of Amy Rae Elifritz 10/16/89 – 6/13/10


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