TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME (TSS)
DESCRIPTIONToxic shock syndrome is a form of blood poisoning caused by poisons (toxins) released by staphylococcal bacteria. It must be treated immediately! The reproductive system and respiratory system are involved. TSS affects all ages and both sexes but is most common in females after puberty.
Appropriate health care includes:
Doctor's treatment. This is an emergency!
Immediate hospitalization for intravenous fluids to administer antibiotics and correct fluid and electrolyte loss and dehydration.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSSudden, high fever in a previously healthy child.
Vomiting and watery diarrhea.
A rash that resembles sunburn.
Low blood pressure.
A feeling of impending doom.
Mental changes, such as confusion.
Extreme fatigue and weakness.
Some strains of staphylococcal bacteria produce toxins that enter the bloodstream, causing sudden symptoms. Most serious cases have come from staphylococci in the vagina of women using tampons. Toxic shock syndrome can also arise from wounds or infections in the throat, skin, lungs, or bone.
RISK FACTORSContinuous use of tampons during menstrual periods.
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCEInstructions for your daughter:
Change tampons frequently, and alternate them at night with sanitary napkins.
Don't use superabsorbent tampons. Use those made of cotton.
Don't use tampons if you have a skin infection, especially near the genitals.
Wash your hands thoroughly before inserting tampons. Staphylococci are commonly found on hands.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Laboratory studies, such as blood counts, blood cultures, and cultures from the vagina or other areas of infection.
Congestive heart failure.
Most patients recover with early diagnosis and prompt hospital treatment, but some cases are fatal. Skin of the palms and soles often peels during recovery.
HOME CARENo specific instructions except those listed under other headings.
MEDICATIONYour doctor may prescribe:
--Antibiotics, usually intravenous, for your child's infection.
--Intravenous fluids and electrolytes.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
Your child can resume normal activities as soon as symptoms improve.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet after recovery. Intravenous nourishment is usually necessary during hospitalization.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?When appetite returns and alertness, strength, and feeling of well-being will allow.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has symptoms of toxic shock syndrome. Call immediately! Shock develops rapidly.
New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment may produce side effects.