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Toxic Shock Syndrome

 

Toxic shock syndrome is a rare but serious medical condition caused by toxins produced by a bacterial infection.

Although toxic shock syndrome has been linked to tampon use in menstruating women, this condition can affect men, children, and people of all ages due to different reasons.
Infection usually occurs when bacteria enters the body through an opening in the skin. For instance, bacteria can enter through a cut, sore, or other wound.
Risk factors for this condition include a recent skin burn, skin infection, or surgery, recent childbirth, also the use of a diaphragm or vaginal sponge to prevent pregnancy.
Symptoms of toxic shock syndrome can vary from person to person. In most cases, symptoms appear suddenly. Common signs of this condition include:

a sudden fever
low blood pressure
headache
muscle aches
confusion
diarrhea
nausea
vomiting
rash
redness of eyes, mouth, and throat
seizures

You might attribute symptoms of toxic shock syndrome to another medical condition, such as the flu. However, if you experience the above symptoms after using tampons or after a surgery or skin injury, contact your doctor immediately.

Your doctor may make a diagnosis of toxic shock syndrome based on a physical examination and your symptoms. He may also check your blood and urine for bacteria, and assess your liver and kidney functions. They may also take swabs of cells from your cervix, vagina, and throat to be analyzed for the bacteria that cause toxic shock syndrome.

Toxic shock syndrome is a medical emergency. Some people have to stay in the intensive care unit for several days. Your doctor will most likely prescribe an intravenous (IV) antibiotics to help you fight the bacterial infection.
Other treatment methods for toxic shock syndrome vary depending on the cause. For example, if a vaginal sponge or tampon triggered toxic shock, your doctor may need to remove this foreign object from your body. If an open wound or surgical wound caused your toxic shock syndrome, the doctor will drain pus or blood from the wound to help clear up any infection.

You will also receive medications to stabilize blood pressure, boost your body’ immune system, and IV fluids to fight dehydration.
If left untreated, Toxic Shock Syndrome can lead to:

liver failure
kidney failure
heart failure
Shock
Death

Certain precautions can reduce your risk of developing toxic shock syndrome. For example:

changing your tampon/sanitary napkin every four to eight hours
washing your hands frequently to remove any bacteria
keeping cuts and surgical incisions clean and changing dressings often

Remember: if you notice any of the early warning signs of TSS on yourself or a family member who’s had a wound, infection, surgery, or her period recently, please contact your doctor or drive to the emergency room immediately- to save their lives.

Wishing you all the best.

Preparing for Surgery Part1

Facing surgery can be a frightening experience. You may be having questions, fears, and doubts. Research suggests that people who prepare mentally and physically for surgery have fewer complications, less pain and recover more quickly than others.
This episode is to guide you through the preparation process for surgery.

While emotional preparation is a necessary, preparing physically is also important for a successful surgical outcome. In the 2 weeks before your surgery, you should:
Stop smoking and alcohol drinking.
Eat a healthy diet.
Avoid aspirin, vitamin E, multivitamins, or other medications that interfere with blood clotting for a week before your surgery. Discuss it with your health care provider before stopping any medication.
Exercise regularly.

Some days before surgery, you’ll be asked to attend a pre-operative assessment, which may be an appointment with a nurse or doctor. You’ll be asked questions about your health, and some medical tests will be carried out.
Make sure that you inform your doctor about all the medications, vitamins and herbal supplements you take.
You’ll be given clear information on:
whether you need to stop eating and drinking in the hours before your operation
whether you should stop taking your usual medications before going into hospital
what to bring with you into hospital
how long you’ll be statying at the hospital
If your doctor has instructed you to fast before the operation, it’s really important that you don’t eat or drink anything – this includes light snacks, sweets and water. You need an empty stomach during surgery, so you don’t vomit while you’re under anaesthetic.
If you take insulin because of diabetes you’ll still need to avoid eating and drinking before surgery, but make sure your medical team is aware of your condition.

You’ll need to remove all body piercings, make-up and nail polish before your operation. This can help to reduce unwanted bacteria being brought into the hospital. Also, the doctors will need to see your skin and nails to make sure your blood circulation is healthy during the opeartion.

If you’re staying in hospital, you may wish to pack a hospital bag.

You may want to check with your hospital about their policy on the use of electronic devices during your hospital stay.

Let your surgeon know if you develop a cough, cold or fever a few days before surgery. They’ll advise whether your operation can go ahead.

You should avoid certain foods and dietary supplements before surgery.
having food in your system may cause nausea and vomiting, which can be dangerous. Some foods may complicate intestinal surgeries or cause diarrhea. In addition to this, Your doctor or surgeon will give you diet advice prior to surgery.
The night before your surgery, you should only drink beverages you can see through. Your body will digest these drinks quickly so your digestive system is cleared for surgery. Avoid juice with pulp, coffee with cream, cola and milk.
While fibrous foods are normally healthy for your body, you should not consume them prior to surgery. Fiber takes a longer period of time for your body to break down and your bowels need to be cleared out before surgery. Avoid high-fiber foods such as whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, whole-grain bread, beans and lentils, artichokes, peas and broccoli, raspberries, pears, apples and oranges.
Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking any supplements one week before surgery.

Bartholin Gland Cyst

When I was a teenager, I had very little information about my body. My mother was too shy to open up and talk to me about my sexual develeopment. There was no Internet, and no books available to answer my questions.
One morning I was washing my body, them I usddently stumbled upon a very strange pea sized swelling right at the opening of my vagina. I was 14 or so. I was mortified. I was scared to tell my mother. I spent days trying to figure out what I’d done wrong, or thinking maybe I had cancer!

It turned out to be a Brtholon cyst.
What are the Bartholin glands?
The Bartholin glands are two small organs under the skin in a woman’s genital area. They are on either side of the folds of skin (labia) that surround the vagina and urethra. Most of the time, you can’t feel or see the Bartholin glands.
The Bartholin glands make a small amount of fluid that moistens the outer genital area, or vulva. This fluid comes out of two tiny tubes next to the opening of the vagina. These tubes are called Bartholin ducts.
What are Bartholin gland cysts?
If a Bartholin duct gets blocked, fluid builds up in the gland. The blocked gland is called a Bartholin gland cyst. These cysts can range in size from a pea to a large marble. If the Bartholin gland or duct gets infected, it’s called a Bartholin gland abscess.
Bartholin gland cysts are often small and painless. Some go away without treatment. But if you have symptoms, you might want treatment. If the cyst is infected, you will need treatment.
What causes a Bartholin gland cyst?
Things like an infection, thick mucus, or swelling can block a Bartholin gland duct and cause a cyst.
Infected Bartholin cysts are sometimes caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). But they can also happen when you don’t have sex.
What are the symptoms?
You may not have any symptoms if the Bartholin gland cyst is small. But a large cyst or an infected cyst (abscess) can cause symptoms.
Symptoms of a cyst that is not infected include:
A painless lump in the vulva area.
Redness or swelling in the vulva area.
Discomfort when you walk, sit, or have sex.
Symptoms of an infected cyst include:
Pain that gets worse and makes it hard to walk, sit, or move around.
Fever and chills.
Swelling in the vulva area.
Drainage from the cyst.
How are Bartholin gland cysts diagnosed?
You may find a Bartholin gland cyst on your own. Unless it is causing symptoms, you may not know you have one.
An abscess is diagnosed based on signs of infection, such as fever or swelling, and pain in the vulva area.
In some cases, especially if you are older, your doctor may remove the cyst to make sure that it isn’t cancer or another problem.
How are they treated?
Some Bartholin gland cysts go away without treatment. You can take a nonprescription pain medicine to relieve pain. To help healing, soak the area in a shallow, warm bath, or a sitz bath.
A sitz bath is one in which the hips and buttocks are put in water. It is usually used to promote healing and symptom relief around the bottom, such as for hemorrhoids, or genitals, such as for pain following childbirth.
There are different types of sitz baths to choose from, many of which can be purchased at medical supply stores. A common type is a basin that fits on a toilet seat and is filled with water.

Don’t have sex while a Bartholin cyst is healing.
If the cyst is infected, it may break open and start to heal on its own after 3 to 4 days. But if the cyst is painful, your doctor may drain it. You may also need to take antibiotics to treat the infection.
To keep the cyst from closing and filling up again, your doctor may put a small drainage tube with a small balloon at one end inside the cyst. The balloon is inflated inside the cyst to keep the cyst open. After the gland has healed, the tube and balloon are removed.
For severe cysts that keep coming back, you may have surgery to remove the Bartholin gland and duct.
There is a procedure called marsu-pia-lization in which a pouch is created by making a cut over the cyst and stitching the sides together. This allows the cyst to drain.
Don’t be scared of your bartholin gland.
All the best.