Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus and group A Streptococcus bacteria. The onset is usually abrupt with high fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe muscle pain, headache and sun burn like rash. It affects 1 person in about a 100,000 population. Menstruating women, women using uterine contraceptive devices, and persons with postoperative staphylococcal wound infections are at high risk for developing TSS.
TSS requires immediate medical assistance. TSS can be treated with antibiotics, circulatory support (e.g. providing oxygen, assisting with blood flow around the body) and fluid replacement. Combination of beta lactum antibiotics and clindamycin or vancomycin is normally used to treat TSS. Research has indicated that use of super absorbent tampons increases the risk of TSS. Patients must be educated about proper use of tampons, maintenance of personal hygiene during menstruation.