Toxic shock syndrome


Initial testing:

  • Blood or urine tests: These are conducted to identify the type of bacteria or virus causing the infection.
  • Physical examinations: An examination of the vagina may be performed.
  • Tissue cultures: Cultures may be taken from the vagina, cervix, or throat to detect the presence of Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria.

For non-menstrual toxic shock syndrome:

  • Tissue sampling: Tissue from the site of the wound or infection is collected for analysis.

Advanced testing (for severe or progressive symptoms):

  • Computed tomography(CT) scan: A scan to provide detailed images of the body’s structures.
  • Chest x-ray: An x-ray to examine the condition of the chest and lungs.
  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture): A procedure to collect cerebrospinal fluid for testing.


If you develop toxic shock then hospitalization is typically required. During your stay, the following treatments will be administered:

  • Antibiotics: You’ll receive antibiotics while doctors investigate the source of the infection.
  • Medication and fluids: Medications will be given to stabilize low blood pressure, along with fluids to address dehydration.
  • Supportive care: Additional supportive care will be provided to manage other signs and symptoms.
  • Dialysis: If kidney failure occurs due to the toxins produced by staph or strep bacteria and accompanying low blood pressure, dialysis may be necessary.
  • Surgery: Surgery might be needed to remove dead tissue from the infection site or to drain the infection.