Toxic shock syndrome

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Shocking the readers with information on Toxic shock syndrome.

By the end of the blog, a reader would understand

  • What is toxic shock syndrome?
  • How toxic is shock syndrome caused?
  • Symptoms of the syndrome
  • Treatment for toxic shock syndrome.

What is toxic shock syndrome- TSS?

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare and severe medical condition. It is caused by bacterial infection and toxins released by a bacteria called staphylococcus in the bloodstream. 

TSS is a rare condition. It can affect males, females, and children of all ages.

What causes toxic shock syndrome?

Such infections are caused when bacteria enter the body. Bacteria gets in through openings in the skin such as cuts and wounds.

As mentioned above, staphylococcus bacteria cause TSS. However, this is not the only cause. Another bacteria called streptococcus pyogenes (GAS) can also cause TSS. Such health conditions are called streptococcal toxic syndrome. 

The bacteria often enter the body through an opening and develops in the throat, which later spreads into the entire body through the bloodstream and makes a person exhibit a few symptoms.  

11 Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome 

Some of the commonly exhibited symptoms of toxic shock syndrome are:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Changes in blood pressure 
  4. Confusion
  5. Diarrhea
  6. Nausea
  7. Muscle pain
  8. Redness in selected parts of the body
  9. Organ or multiple organ failure
  10. Throat infection
  11. Vomiting.

We need to understand that the symptoms exhibited by a person suffering from toxic shock syndrome may differ, and the severity may vary from person to person.

Is medical assistance required?

Usually, most symptoms of toxic shock syndrome can be associated with other diseases like common cold, fever, or flu.

It is important to understand what toxic shock syndrome is and what it can cause. 

Medical assistance is always recommended to avoid the severity of the symptoms and get proper treatment.

Treating the underlying condition would eliminate the symptoms exhibited by the person. 

What are the risk factors associated with toxic shock syndrome?

Awareness of TSS is important because it can affect anyone. 

Even though a majority of the cases occur in women of menstruating age, it can affect even older women or children. 

Risks of the toxic syndrome are associated with

  • Cuts on the skin
  • Open or healed wound
  • Weak immune system 
  • Burns
  • Surgery
  • Specific viral infections
  • Using menstrual cups or tampons
  • Diabetes and
  • Alcoholism 

Treating TSS is important because it can progress quickly and may result in 

  • shock
  • failure or
  • death 

TSS and tampons 

Many people argue that tampons do not lead to TSS. On the other hand, there are a few experts who believe that tampons can cause TSS.

This is because when a tampon is left in a place for a particular time, it attracts bacteria.  

If specific tampons irritate the vagina, it is important to consider switching brands.  

How to diagnose toxic shock syndrome? 

A Doctor will diagnose TSS with a physical examination.  

The symptoms exhibited by a person will help a medical professional identify toxic shock syndrome. 

The common tests for TSS include

  • Blood test
  • Urine test
  • swabs of cells taken from the vagina or throat
  • Sample analysis
  • Evaluating blood clotting ability.

How to treat toxic shock syndrome? 

Toxic shock syndrome is considered a medical emergency and people with the condition may need to stay in the intensive care unit for a few days. 

Constant monitoring is required, and the doctor may give intravenous hydration.

This will help the body fight against dehydration. The doctor would administrate the antibiotics that are given to the patient to treat the specific cause. 

Some of the common treatments include

  • Medications to stabilize the blood pressure of the patient
  • Injections to suppress inflammation
  • Medications to boost the immune system
  • Surgery to remove the infected tissue.

Some of the other treatments for various underlying causes include

Removing foreign objects present in the body.

If the condition is caused due to end, a surgeon will drain the pus to eliminate an infection.

If the TSS is left untreated, it may prove to be life-threatening. It may even lead to

  • Heart failure
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure 
  • Multiple organ failure
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Chest pain
  • Weakness and
  • High blood pressure and 
  • Death

Can we prevent toxic shock syndrome?

By following certain precautions, a person can reduce the risk of developing TSS.

Some of the common precautions include:

  • Keeping surgical incisions clean
  • Treating cuts or wounds in the skin immediately
  • Wearing sanitary napkins on light flow days
  • Changing tampons periodically
  • Avoiding tampons if there is a history of TSS

Avoiding tampons is mandatory if a person has a history of TSS because the condition can re-occur. 

To sum up 

Toxic shock syndrome is a condition that can cause death. 

It is severe yet rare. TSS is caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus. It enters the body through the bloodstream and produces toxins that cause damage.

The symptoms exhibited by a person would differ, and proper treatment is required.

Consulting a medical professional would provide insight of the condition, which will help people understand it, and follow precautions. 


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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