Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare and potentially fatal complication of infection by the Staphylococcus aureus or Streptococcus pyogenes bacteria. These bacteria can cause skin infections in burn patients or those undergoing surgery. However, TSS is mostly diagnosed in menstruating women who use superabsorbent (intravaginal) tampons, menstrual sponges and cervical caps. Toxins invade the bloodstream and organs, resulting in the multiorgan symptoms of TSS. The acute condition progresses quickly, and recognizing symptoms is vital to treatment in the hospital and the prevention of further complications.
If TSS occurs as a result of a soft tissue wound, symptoms of the bacterial infection may accompany those of the syndrome. Symptoms of a staph or strep infection at the site of a wound include intense, possibly radiating, pain, redness, inflammation, tenderness, warmth, and draining fluid.
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