What is it?

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare, life-threatening complication of certain types of bacterial infections. Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria.

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Signs & symptoms

Possible signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome include:
* A sudden high fever
* Low blood pressure
* Vomiting or diarrhea
* A rash resembling a sunburn, particularly on your palms and soles
* Confusion
* Muscle aches
* Redness of your eyes, mouth and throat
* Seizures
* Headaches


Toxic shock syndrome cannot be diagnosed with a single test. In order to determine the presence of a staph or strep infection, blood and urine samples may need to be provided. Additionally, swabs of the vagina, cervix, and throat may be taken for further laboratory analysis.
Given the potential for toxic shock syndrome to impact several organs, your physician may request other diagnostic procedures like a CT scan, chest X-ray, or lumbar puncture to evaluate the severity of your condition.


Hospitalization is typically necessary if you are diagnosed with toxic shock syndrome. During your hospital stay, you can expect to:
* Receive antibiotics to combat the infection while doctors work to identify the source
* Be given medications to regulate low blood pressure and fluids to address dehydration
* Receive supportive care for other symptoms
In severe cases, the toxins produced by the staph or strep bacteria, along with low blood pressure, can lead to kidney failure, which may require dialysis.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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