Toxic shock syndrome is serious but uncommon bacterial infection. It usually occurs in women who use tampons and menstruating women and women who are using contraceptive devices and diaphragm birth control method.It also appears in person who has undergone nasal surgery and from wounds secondary to minor trauma or surgery incisions where bacteria have been able to enter the body and cause the infection.

Toxic shock syndrome came to be known in 1970’s when it affected a large number of women who were very serious. These women were having their monthly cycle and were in their thirty’s. Later on it came to be known as all the women who were using a particular brand of tampon suffered from this.

Toxic shock syndromeor TSS is characterized by sudden onset of high fever (temperature at least 102° Fahrenheit [38.8° Celsius]), chills , diarrhea, vomiting, a rapid drop in blood pressure is seen.Within 24 hours, a sunburn-like rash appears. There also may be bloodshot eyes and an unusual redness under the eyelids or inside the mouth (and vagina in females). After that, broken blood vessels may appear on the skin. Other symptoms may include: confusion or other mental changes; decreased urination; fatigue and weakness; thirst; weak and rapid pulse; pale, cool, moist skin; and rapid breathing.

Toxic shock syndrome is transmitted through skin and mucous membrane. The staphylococcus strains commonly colonizes the skin and mucous membrane. It is related to the use of tampons and intravaginal contraceptive devices in females. It may also enter a wound through the the skin in post operative patients. Or may result as a complication of skin abscesses or surgery.

There are two types of this condition. The first, Toxic shock syndrome, is caused by Staphylococcus bacteria and has been associated with the use of tampons. Certain types of high-absorbency tampons provided a moist, warm home where the bacteria could thrive.

TSS can affect anyone who has any type of staph infection, including pneumonia, abscess, skin or wound infection, a blood infection called septicemia, or a bone infection called osteomyelitis.

The second type of related infection, streptococcal Toxic shock syndrome, or STSS, is caused by streptococcus bacteria. Most often streptococcal Toxic shock syndrome appears after streptococcus bacteria have invaded areas of injured skin, such as cuts and scrapes, surgical wounds, and even chickenpox blisters. It almost never follows a simple streptococcus throat infection (strep throat).

It can be carried on unwashed hands and prompt an infection anywhere on the body. So hand washing is extremely important.

Girls can reduce their risk of Toxic shock syndrome by either avoiding tampons or alternating them with sanitary napkins. Girls who use only tampons should choose ones with the lowest absorbency that will handle menstrual flow and change the tampons frequently. Between menstrual periods, store tampons away from heat and moisture (where bacteria can grow) — for example, in a bedroom rather than in a bathroom closet.

Because staphylococcus bacteria are often carried on dirty hands, it’s important for girls to to wash their hands thoroughly before and after inserting a tampon. If your daughter is just starting her menstrual period, she should know about taking these precautions. Any female who has recovered from Toxic shock syndrome should check with her doctor before using tampons again.

The best defense against streptococcal Toxic shock syndrome is to clean and bandage all skin wounds as quickly as possible. Call your doctor immediately whenever a wound becomes red, swollen, or tender, or if a fever begins. Although STSS almost never follows strep throat, check with your doctor whenever your child has a sore throat with fever, particularly if your child’s condition is worsening despite medical treatment.

Doctors typically diagnose Toxic shock syndrome and STSS by doing a physical exam and conducting blood tests that assess patients liver and kidney function. In toxic shock syndrome, doctors may want to rule out conditions like measles or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can produce similar symptoms. A doctor may also take samples of fluid from an abscess, boil, or infected wound to look for a possible source of staphylococcus or streptococcus infection.

Doctors typically treat Toxic shock syndrome with antibiotics. If there is a pocket of infection, like an abscess, a doctor also may need to drain the infected area. Patient who has TSS is monitored for signs of shock until the condition has stabilized and seems to be improving. Steroids are also sometimes used to treat severe cases of Toxic shock syndrome.

As with Toxic shock syndrome, doctors typically treat STSS with antibiotics and give intravenous fluids and medications to maintain normal blood pressure. Surgery is sometimes necessary to remove areas of dead skin and muscle around an infected wound.

The severity of the symptoms of toxic shock syndrome will depend on the underlying causes of infection. The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome can be mild in the initial stages and if untreated it can lead to multiple complications causing death of the patient.

Once an individual is infected by the staphylococcus aureus bacteria, various bacterial toxins are released from the site of infection and this causes a rise in body temperature. The temperature may be as high as 102.2 degrees Fahrenheit and the systolic blood pressure will be less than 90 mmHg.

The typical symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include diffused rash that appears to be sunburn will be visible on the palms and soles of the infected patient. There will be considerable blanching while proceeds to subsequent desquamation of the skin cells.

The infection can also spread to various visceral organs which is untreated may cause organ failure. In case of gastrointestinal tract infection the toxic shock syndrome symptoms include vomiting accompanied by diarrhea.

Toxic shock syndrome is caused by bacteria staphylococcus aureus and streptococcus pyogenes which come into skin contact and into the blood. This condition can occur to people having open wounds or some other infection after chicken pox also. Toxic shock syndrome can cause fever greater than 102 degrees F, headaches, chills, body rash, muscle pain, diarrhea, liver and kidney problems, skin flaking etc.Toxic shock syndrome can be diagnosed by getting a blood sample. Some urine samples may also be taken to know about this infection. Toxic shock syndrome can be cured by taking antibiotics through IV while passing other fluids in the body. There are also other treatments depending on the extent of infection.

Women who already had history of toxic shock syndrome should be careful and not use tampons when they are having monthly periods for the fear that they may again go through the same problem.