Toxic shock syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome

Description of the toxic shock syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare life-threatening disease that especially in recent years comes to awareness, especially with the use of vaginal swabs. The causes of it may be but a large number of diseases can affect not only women but also men and children.

It is a disease caused by bacteria – especially staphylococci (stapfylococcus aureus), in specific cases, and streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes). If these bacteria get into our bodies begin to produce in their environment toxic substances that deplete our body. These toxic substances are products of bacterial metabolism, are intended to damage the host organism and in some cases it can kill. We are named as toxins or toxic bacterial proteins (earlier name was used rather exotoxin). Since both bacteria and the toxins they produce in the body belong, they are recognized by the immune system, and using specific antibodies destroyed and neutralized.

In the case of toxic shock toxin is particularly TSST-1 (toxic shock syndrome toxin), which is produced by staphylococci (stapfylococcus aureus). The moment will begin to appear in the body isdetected by the immune system – the white blood cells (leukocytes). White blood cells – as well as a number of other cells – on their surface specific sites (receptors) on which can bind only a certain substance (in our case, toxic shock syndrome toxin). At the moment when the substance is detected in the body by binding the toxin toxic shock syndrome binding sites white blood cells, is triggered immune response and our body begins to defend a variety of reactions. One of them is the production of chemical substances – cytokines that are designed to regulate the immune response.However, because toxic shock syndrome toxin perceived by white blood cells as very dangerous, leads to overproduction of cytokines and then initiate some symptoms of toxic shock syndrome.Alone toxin toxic shock syndrome has then pyrogenic properties (temperature increase causes the action to the temperature control center in the brain), damaging some of the functions of internal organs and irreversibly damages the surface of the renal tubules.

Toxic shock syndrome is almost half of the cases occurring in women during menstruation or shortly thereafter.

Risk factors for toxic shock syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome can become ill men and women. This disease may occur as a complication ofvirtually any staphylococcus or streptococcal disease eventually – inflammations of the urogenital system (kidney, bladder), bone marrow inflammation, various external wounds, which are infected with these bacteria (blisters, sores, burns, etc.). Most often we can become ill in the hospital or after contact with a person infected with staphylococci or streptococci. This person has either this disease is being treated, or may be only carrier. This means that with him any symptoms occur but can infect anyone else. Risk are patients who do not generate a sufficiently high levels of antitoxin (s anti-toxins). Furthermore, people are at risk of weakening the flu, for example, open wounds, pregnant women …

Prevention of toxic shock syndrome

For more extensive surgical procedures, patients determine whether there are some carriers of the bacterium, such as the prevention of postoperative complications. Because these bacteria but can meet anywhere (you can wear on unwashed hands) is very effective in preventing handwashing(ie. Before the introduction of the vaginal swab). Another preventive measure is also restriction of use of high absorbency tampons because these tampons are generally in the body longer, and bacteria have thus more time for reproduction to the maximum number. Therefore, it is also important to frequent exchange of tampons during menstruation (exchange should occur between 4-8 hours). It is also advisable to use tampons with the highest proportion of cotton. As already stated, half of the toxic shock syndrome consists of menstruating women and girls. Therefore it should be, especially in this period of increased hygiene standards.

The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome

The first symptom of this syndrome is sudden increase in temperature over 38.9 ° C. Visible symptom are then various rashes, petechiae (small needle-like red spots on the skin), erythema (red coloration of the skin) and enanthema (rash on the mucous membrane). Affected are hypotension (low blood pressure), often they occur gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and vomiting and may experience muscle pain. It can also occur on congested mucosa (nasal mucosa, the lining of the throat, vagina). After 1-2 weeks from the beginning of disease present usually begins peeling skin soles, face and trunk. Patients also frequently complain of increased brittleness of hair and hair loss, sometimes for brittle nails.

Treatment of toxic shock syndrome

Because it is a bacterial disease, it is the most important to put the patient as soon as possible the correct antibiotic. To administer a proper treatment at optimal doses, it is first necessary to perform sampling of bacteria of the bearing (e.g. from an affected mucosa, blood), and the culture (bacteria in the laboratory is placed on the soil, where they multiply so as to ease their identification ) and finally recognition on which type of bacteria concerned. As already mentioned in the introduction, toxic shock syndrome is a life-threatening disease, so it is important that the time between sampling and results of bacteria as possible.

For staphylococcal disease is administered antibiotic oxacillin, penicillin in streptococcal disease.

How can I help myself?

In this case, the best means of timely seek professional medical help. During treatment, it is possible to consume acidified milk or various kinds of yoghurts that promote antibiotic. For some kinds of antibiotics is not recommended to drink plain milk because the calcium that it contains, reduces the absorption of drugs.

Complications toxic shock syndrome

This disease has many symptoms that while inadequate treatment or no worse. The lingering symptoms are added disturbances of consciousness, dehydration, impaired liver and kidney function and other associated problems. Because it is a life-threatening disease can occur until the patient’s death.

Other names: Toxic shock, staphylococcal scarlet fever, toxic shock-like syndrome, TTS, toxic shock syndrome, STS

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