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Signs and Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare and life-threatening condition that is caused by a bacterial infection.  Although it is most often associated with women using super-absorbent tampons, men and children can get toxic shock syndrome too.  The causes for toxic shock syndrome in non-menstruating women, men and children are skin wounds and surgical complications.  We have listed the common signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome include:

  • High fever
  • Low blood pressure
  • Malaise
  • Confusion
  • A rash resembling a sunburn, most often on the palms and soles of the feet, but can also be found anywhere on the body, including the lips, mouth and eyes
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Muscle aches
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Stupor
  • Coma
  • Multiple organ failure

The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome vary, depending on the underlying cause.  Toxic shock syndrome resulting from a staph bacteria results in the above-listed signs and symptoms, whereas toxic shock syndrome caused by a strep bacteria is the result of a pre-existing skin infection and causes severe pain at the infection site, followed by the above-listed signs and symptoms.

Diagnosis of Toxic Shock Syndrome

A diagnosis of toxic shock syndrome can be made through blood and urine samples to test for staph or strep bacteria.  It is important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you have your period or just recently had your period, have used super-absorbent tampons, or have a skin or surgical wound infection.

Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome

Toxic Shock Syndrome – A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References
ICON Health Publications
The Official Patient’s Sourcebook on Toxic Shock Syndrome
James N. Parker

21st Century Ultimate Medical Guide to Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) and Sepsis – Authoritative Clinical Information for Physicians and Patients (Two CD-ROM Set)
PM Medical Health News
Yeast Infections, Trichomoniasis, and Toxic Shock Syndrome (Girls’ Health)
Michael A. Sommersa

Toxic Shock Syndrome Resources

General Patient Resources

  • Toxic Shock Syndrome Information Service

The Toxic Shock Syndrome Information Service (TSSIS) provides both members of the public and medical professionals with factual and balanced information on TSS.

  • Epigee Women’s Health

Important facts about toxic shock syndrome.

  • Medicine Net . com

Comprehensive article on toxic shock syndrome.

  • WD

Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums, prevention and more.

  • MD Junction

Do You Have Toxic Shock Syndrome? Join friendly people sharing true stories in the I Have Toxic Shock Syndrome group. Find support forums, advice and chat with groups.

Medical Resources

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, treatment and prevention of this life-threatening infection.

  • Medline Plus

A service of the US National Library of Medicine.

  • Web MD

Basic information about toxic shock syndrome (TSS).