A B.C teen tragically died in her sleep while on a class field trip due to Toxic Shock Syndrome caused by the staph bacteria.  This was later discovered after an autopsy was performed and a tampon was found and with the confirmed positive result for Staphylococcus bacteria.

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This tragic and harrowing case, although rare, it should be a wake-up call to young women. 

Toxic Shock Syndrome can be caused by two types of bacteria when staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria get into the bloodstream.  That said, not only women can be affected, men and children can as well.

However, TSS is mostly associated with tampon use because the blood accumulation can create the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, especially when tampons at high absorbency are used for an extended period of time.

As TSS is a fast-acting and life-threatening condition it's recommended that you call a doctor immediately if you experience these flu-like symptoms:

  • Sudden fever of 39 degrees
  • Low blood pressure and rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fainting, feeling light-headed and confused
  • A rash that looks like a sunburn
  • Severe pain in the infected wound
  • Sever flu=like symptoms like muscle aches and pains, stomach cramps, a headache or sore throat
  • Redness inside the nose and mouth
  • Pink eye
  • Scaling and peeling skin especially on the hands and feet

How you can prevent TSS:

  • Use tampons with lowest absorbency 
  • Alternate tampons with sanitary napkins
  • Wash hands before and after inserting tampon
  • Change tampons regularly  (at least every 4-8 hours)
  • If you use tampons overnight insert a fresh one before bed and remove when you wake up

It's also important to note that if you've had TSS you should avoid using tampons going forward as those who have contracted TSS are more susceptible to contracting it a second time.

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