Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is not a disease that affects exclusively women. Therefore, this article is not intended for female readers only, as SCT does not choose gender or age. It is necessary to demystify that, despite being often associated with the use of sanitary tampons, the disease can be contracted from a simple skin wound.
According to the CUF50% of TCS cases occur in multiple situations and can affect anyone. The other 50% are, in fact, linked to the use of hygienic tampons, used during menstruation.
After all, what is Toxic Shock Syndrome?
SCT is rare but can progress rapidly and be eventually fatal in some cases. However, if diagnosed and treated early, most people fully recover.
Still, it is a disease that disguises flu, food poisoning or gastroenteritis. Therefore, we must be aware of the symptoms and consult a doctor or specialist.
The disease is caused by two bacteria that are present on the skin, armpits, nasal passages and vagina. Anyone considered healthy is carrier of these bacteria until they ‘turn on us’ by reacting to a simple infection. And how do they react? producing toxins that enter the bloodstream in large quantities, causing a serious and rapidly evolving disease.
In what situations can I get Toxic Shock Syndrome?
- Skin wounds;
- Nasal packing to treat bleeding;
- Inflammatory conditions of the trachea, sinuses, lungs, or bones and bone marrow;
- In women, this syndrome may be associated with gynecological procedures, vaginal infections or the use of barrier contraceptive methods;
The disease is rare, but many women forget to remove the tampon or exceed the recommended time of use of this material during menstruation. Furthermore, Using super-absorbent tampons when menstrual flow is low is also alarming, as it facilitates local infection and the passage of bacteria into the uterus and bloodstream.
What symptoms should I watch out for?
- High and sudden fever:
- Generalized skin spots;
- Elevated urea or creatinine levels or decreased urine volume;
- Vomiting and diarrhea;
By reading the symptoms, they can report to multiple diseases, but in this case, the initial picture evolves quickly and it can lead to septic shock, with failure of organs such as the kidneys, the central nervous system and the respiratory system.
Patients must be hospitalized immediately as they can even be life threatening.
Intravenous antibiotics are usually administered to control the infection. In case of high severity, admission to intensive care may be required and treatments depend on the organs affected.
The cases that reached the media
The most recent account was from Irish model Maura Higgins, who shared her frightening experience during an interview. To the ITV Mall with Keith Lemon revealed that he was very sick and did not understand why. Until the doctor found a tampon in her cervix that had been forgotten for three months.
Maura stresses that “Girls may not have noticed, if they go out at night and get really drunk and forget about it, these things really happen and people don’t talk about it.”
The model Lauren Wasser, who walks for Louis Vuitton, had two complications. At the age of 24, her life was in danger, she suffered a heart attack and spent several days in an induced coma. THE right leg had to be amputated due to Toxic Shock Syndrome. Years later, due to severe pain and complications, the left leg was also amputated.
Two years ago, a 17-year-old died, victim of Toxic Shock Syndrome caused by a tampon. Maëlle had been diagnosed with gastroenteritis, but when her condition worsened, it was discovered that she had TCS, but it was already too late.
How can I prevent?
- Disinfect wounds and burns;
- Keep surgical wounds clean and supervised;
- Change tampons frequently (after four to eight hours);
- Switch between tampons and sanitary towels;
- Wash your hands when inserting and removing a tampon;