It is a very rare disease, but also very little known: the toxic shock syndrome, also called SCT, has broken the destiny of this manikin. Almost three years after having contracted this infection that nearly cost her life because of a tampon, this 27-year-old American decided to publicize her story in the columns of Vice . Its goal is for manufacturers of hygiene protection to communicate more clearly on the composition of products and the potential risks that women face in wearing them.
It all starts on October 3, 2012. Lauren Wasser, 24, lives in Santa Monica, near Los Angeles. Long blonde liana with the eyes of a piercing blue, she saw modeling, and is part of the golden youth in sight. That day, she feels weakened, but associates her condition with her rules, which have just begun. She buys a box of sanitary tampons, the same brand that she has been using for about ten years, Kotex.
Saved in time by his mother
In the evening, she begins to feel really bad, and goes home. It is his mother who will find her the next day, unconscious, lying on the floor of her room. Brought to the emergency room with 41 C ° fever, the young woman is close to cardiac arrest. An infectious disease specialist then suspects a syndrome of toxic shock, and sends to the laboratory the tampon it carries. The diagnosis will be confirmed by the results: Lauren contracted a TBS.
This sometimes fatal disease, identified in 1978, is caused by toxins produced by bacteria, and spreads rapidly in the body by damaging organs. Wearing a tampon is not enough to release these toxins: the person must already carry the bacteria. Moreover, men and children can also be carriers.
However, the use of a hygienic tampon, usually made of synthetic fibers, can promote the development of the bacterium in women, to the point of generating in rare cases a SCT, according to several medical studies conducted in the 1980s.
Photo credit: Camraface
She wants to make known this syndrome
Lauren Wasser survived the infection, but had to amputate her right leg at the knee. With the support of her mother, she lodged a complaint against the company that owns the Kotex mark, and her case is being investigated. Because if the company, as the law requires it, mentions in the note the potential risk of SCT, the advice to avoid it is not clear enough, according to the mother and the girl. “It should be stated: Do not sleep with a tampon, use a sanitary napkin,” their lawyer argues.
Today, Lauren Wasser has finally found a taste for life, and by loving again his body, bruised by this episode. It is now a real fight to prevent girls, and hopes to be heard one day by the US Congress to force companies to more transparency and information on the composition of buffers and potential risks . The road still has a long way to go.
Some recommendations to avoid TBS
– Change the buffer regularly
– Avoid very absorbent models. In case of abundant flow, favor sanitary napkins