Medical Conditions | Uncategorized

Toxic shock syndrome

A condition mainly seen in young women who use tampons during menstruation, which gave rise to the name ‘tampon disease. However, the phenomenon also occurs without any tampons being used (15 per cent of cases also occur in children). It is caused by bacterial toxins which may be released in the case of certain infections of the female genital organs. The bacterium can be in a superficial wound, or in a tampon which is left in for too long. In the past, synthetic fibre tampons were available and these absorbed magnesium from the body tissues and weakened their defences, increasing the risk of infection. These tampons have now been withdrawn from sale. The disease begins abruptly, with a high fever, headache, red eyes, red spots on the skin, followed by disturbances in kidney and liver function. It is a serious clinical picture. Treatment is aimed at controlling the focus of infection and at counteracting the effect of the toxins. The patient must be admitted to hospital.

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