Archive for the ‘tss from tampons’ tag

Model Loses Leg after Developing TSS from Tampons

September 17th, 2015 at 7:00 am

leg amputation, Westport Personal Injury AttorneyIn 1980, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) began receiving reports of toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The disease was a newly recognized one, discovered by a physician at Children’s Hospital in Denver. The doctor’s findings were published in the British medical journal The Lancet in 1978.

TSS occurs when bacteria present in the body begins to produce toxins which spread throughout the body. Symptoms include a sudden high fever, a rash resembling a sun-burn, low blood pressure, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, muscle aches and seizures. Victims of TSS may go into shock or suffer from a shutdown of the renal system. Many victims of TSS have died from the disease.

During the eighties, as more and more cases of TSS were reported, research showed a direct correlation between the use of tampons during menstruation and developing TSS. By the end of 1980 the CDC had received 890 reports of TSS, with 812 of those cases determined to be caused by tampon use. Of those cases, 772 of the victims died.

A study by Yale University pointed to the change in the ingredients used to manufacture tampons as a major contributor to the development of TSS. Instead of using cotton, many companies began to produce tampons made of synthetic ingredients, like rayon and plastic, which creates a possible breeding ground for the types of bacteria which cause TSS. These deaths led to warning notices being placed on tampon packages, advising users to “change tampons every four to eight hours, including overnights.”

However, one woman and her family say that warning is not clear enough, especially to younger girls who have different sleep patterns than older women. The 27-year-old professional model had to have her leg amputated after she developed TSS brought on by using a tampon. The victim says she is lucky to be alive—she was found by a friend and rushed to the hospital. According to her doctors, when she arrived at the hospital, her internal organs were shutting down and she was just 10 minutes from death. She had also suffered a massive heart attack. The infection in her body later turned into gangrene and she needed to have her right leg amputated below the knee. Doctors say her other leg may eventually need to be amputated as well.

Although TSS does not garner the media headlines like it did in the 1980s, there are still victims of TSS, such as this young woman. If you have suffered illness or injury from toxic shock syndrome caused by a tampon, or other defective product, please contact an experienced Westport personal injury attorney to discuss your case and available options.


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