Toxic Shock Syndrome
- Menstrual type —associated with menstruation and tampon use
- Non-menstrual type—can occur in men, women, and children
|The immune system creates antibodies to fight bacteria.|
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- Fever of 102ºF (39ºC) or greater
- Sunburn-like rash
- Abdominal pain
- Sore throat
- Red eyes
- Joint or muscle pain
- Vaginal discharge that may be watery or bloody
- Swelling in the face and eyelids
- Skin peeling off, especially palms of hands and soles of feet
- Fainting, severe lightheadedness
- Difficulty breathing
- Fluid retention
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
Cleaning and Draining the Infection Site
- IV fluids will be given to replace lost fluids.
- Your breathing may need to be supported by a machine. It may be needed if your lungs are affected or you are too tired to breathe well on your own.
- Dialysis may be needed with kidney failure. Dialysis takes over the job of the kidneys.
Medication may be given to:
- Raise blood pressure
- Lower fever
- Antibiotics may be given. They do not cure TSS but can help to manage the condition.
- IV immunoglobulin may be given to support the immune system.
- Do not use tampons continuously when menstruating.
- Alternate using a tampon with a sanitary pad.
- Switch to sanitary pads at night.
- Do not use super absorbency tampons.
- Change tampons frequently during the day.
- Store tampons in a clean, dry place.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before and after you put in or take out a tampon.
- Use a lower absorbency tampon if you find the tampon is irritating or hard to pull out.
- Use tampons only during menstruation.
- Seek medical care for infected wounds.
- If you have had TSS, do not use tampons or place birth control devices in your vagina.
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists http://www.acog.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada http://www.sogc.org
Women's Health Matters http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca
Imöhl M, van der Linden M, Reinert RR, Ritter K. Invasive group A streptococcal disease and association with varicella in Germany, 1996-2009. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2011 Jun;62(1):101-109.
Tampons and asbestos, dioxin and toxic shock syndrome. United States Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/PatientAlerts/ucm070003.htm. Updated March 20, 2013. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Toxic shock syndrome. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/bacterial%5Fviral/toxic%5Fshock.html. Updated June 2014. Accessed January 22, 2015.
Tyner HL, Schlievert PM, Baddour LM. Beta-hemolytic streptococcal erythroderma syndrome: a clinical and pathogenic analysis. Am J Med Sci. 2011 Aug 11.
- Reviewer: David L. Horn, MD, FACP
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 06/20/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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