Sunday, October 18, 2009

Causes and Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome

You've probably heard of Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, but you may not know all the warning signs. If you've read the informational insert in a box of tampons, you're aware that women using super-absorbent tampons are at higher risk for TSS but may not understand why. The reasons aren't clear - it may be that the tampon creates a breeding ground for the bacteria, or that the tampon causes scratches in the vagina that allow the bacteria to get into the bloodstream. But the statistics indicate the risk is great, so be aware of the symptoms and signs of TSS.

Toxic Shock Syndrome Definition:

- infection with toxin-producing staphylococci, occurring most often in the vagina of menstruating women using superabsorbent tampons but also prevalent in many soft tissue infections and characterized by high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, a scarlatiniform rash followed by desquamation, and decreasing blood pressure and shock, which can result in death; hyperemia of the conjunctival, oropharyngeal, and vaginal mucous membranes also occurs.

Signs and Symptoms of TSS:

* Sudden high fever (first symptom)
* Vomiting
* Diarrhea
* Sunburn-like skin rash, often in the palms and soles
* Fainting
* Redness of eyes, mouth and throat
* Muscle aches
* Dizziness
* Hypotension
* Confusion
* Seizures
* Headaches

If you have suffered a burn injury or wound infection, or have just been using tampons and you suffer any of the symptoms listed above, contact your doctor immediately.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

Just a reminder that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All women should be aware of self-exam techniques and consult their health care practitioners to find out what is the proper mammogram schedule for them.

Remember, timely screening and early detection are your first and best defense against breast cancer.