Encyclopedia Home / T / Toxic shock syndrome

Toxic shock syndrome

  • Alternative Names

    Staphylococcal toxic shock syndrome

    • Confusion
    • Diarrhea
    • General ill-feeling
    • Headaches
    • High fever, sometimes accompanied by chills
    • Low blood pressure
    • Muscle aches
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Organ failure (usually kidneys and liver)
    • Redness of eyes, mouth, throat
    • Seizures
    • Widespread red rash that looks like a sunburn -- skin peeling occurs 1 or 2 weeks after the rash, particularly on the palms of the hand or bottom of the feet

    Signs and tests

    No single test can diagnose toxic shock syndrome.

    The diagnosis is based on several criteria: fever, low blood pressure, a rash that peels after 1-2 weeks, and problems with the function of at least three organs.

    In some cases, blood cultures may be positive for growth of S. aureus.