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Girl Dies of Toxic Shock from tampon

Nov 19, 2013 by MARCO TORRES
14-Year Old Girl Dies of Toxic Shock After The Introduction of a Tampon Into Her Body

Tampons provide the perfect porous, oxygen-filled, warm moist environment containing nutritious menstrual blood for bacteria to thrive to dangerous levels. Many tampons are known to contain toxic amounts of the chemical dioxin as well as fragrances, dyes, and super-absorbent chemicals. Natasha Scott-Falber, 14, died suddenly of toxic shock syndrome after introducing a tampon into her body.

Posting on Facebook, her family have launched a campaign to raise awareness of the condition so other sufferers spot the signs earlier.

They said: 'Natasha died of toxic shock syndrome the first time that she used tampons.

'Generally speaking, it is accepted knowledge that leaving a tampon in for too long can cause toxic shock syndrome. In Natasha’s case, she followed all of the instructions and used the tampon correctly; it was simply the introduction of the tampon into her body which caused toxic shock syndrome to take effect.

She became ill five days before she died but remained in good spirits, and passed after falling asleep watching one of her favourite TV programs. She died peacefully at approximately 6.45am last February on Valentine’s Day.

Toxic Tampons

Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri, retired professor from San Diego State University and author of the recently released The Uterine Crisis, said women who read the risks of tampon use off the side of a box aren't getting the full story.

Chlorine from bleach eventually turns to dioxin, Perlingieri said. "All tampons are bleached with the exception of two companies," she said. "Chlorine, whether in laundry, swimming pools, or in tampons, breaks down into a deadly chemical called dioxin."

"Dioxin is one of the most dangerous chemicals on the planet and literally a tablespoon [of it] would kill everyone on the planet," she said. "It's so deadly."

Jill Wood, an instructor in Penn State's women's studies department who received her master's degree studying menstruation and menstrual health, said she does not use tampons as a precaution for her health and safety. ""I don't use commercial tampons," she said. "I don't think the health risks are reasonable."

She said tampon companies underestimate the effects of dioxin. "Tampon manufacturers say that [tampons] are safe and levels of dioxin are so low that they are almost undetectable," she said. "[That may be] true, but we only need a small trace amount for dioxin to do damage. It accumulates in our bodies over our lifetime and it's not something the body can ever get rid of. Ingesting it in food is one thing, but putting it in vaginas is another."

Perlingieri also believes dioxin is unsafe because women use a lot of tampons. "Women use 11 to 12,000 tampons over their life cycle ... maybe more with teens using them," she said. "All that dioxin going into a woman's bloodstream and all those fibers wandering around in a woman's body--that's part of the toxic brew. Tampon companies have known for decades that the ingredients in products are not safe."

Fibers remain in the vagina after a tampon is removed. "Fibrous material is left behind," he said. "There are little particulates that come off. Fluid discharge is part of normal movement of the material. Some [fibers are] eliminated with it, but some [are] not."

13-Year-Old Dies From Using Tampons. Mom Warns It Could Happen to You

A mother is speaking out this week to warn others after her daughter’s devastating death due to toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Diane Roberts’s 13-year-old-daughter, Jemma-Louise, began feeling ill while on a family vacation and was originally diagnosed with a stomach bug, according to the Manchester Evening News. After the British teenager’s health continued to deteriorate, her family brought her to a hospital where she was diagnosed with TSS, caused by bacteria related to tampon use. Jemma-Louise, a competitive swimmer, had reportedly begun using tampons not long before her illness because they allowed her to continue training throughout her menstrual cycle. A week after her diagnosis, in March 2014, Jemma-Louise died of a brain bleed while on a heart and lung machine, according to the paper. Blood tests before she died showed evidence of the staphylococcus bacteria, linked to TSS and sepsis.

STORY: How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Period

Now Roberts is sharing her daughter’s story to raise awareness about an illness that she says doesn’t get enough attention. “TSS used to be talked about in the ’80s, but you never hear it now,” she told the Manchester Evening News. “My husband had never heard of TSS — if one dad reads this and his daughter falls ill, it could save her life.” Roberts and her family have been raising awareness through fundraisers for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where Jemma-Louise was treated.

Aaron Glatt, MD, spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and an infectious-disease specialist at South Nassau Communities Hospital, says that while TSS is something to be aware of, it shouldn’t scare teenagers from using tampons entirely. “Certainly tampons are safe to use,” Glatt tells Yahoo Parenting. “At the same time, there is a potential risk of toxic shock syndrome with the more absorbent, heaver tampons because people think they can leave them in for longer periods of time.”

STORY: My Tween Got Her Period: Should I Freak Out?

Only about one in every 100,000 women who use tampons contract TSS every year, according to a study out of the University of Minnesota, and Glatt says that cases of its being fatal are rare. Still, if you or your daughter is using a tampon and you suddenly get sick, seek help. “If you are not feeling well — if you have a rash, if you have high fevers, if you are confused, go to your doctor as soon as possible,” Glatt says. And don’t forget to mention to your doctor that you are wearing a tampon, he says, because they may not immediately ask and the symptoms of TSS can be similar to those of the flu.

Teenage girls — and anyone using a tampon — should be sure to take them out after six hours, use lower absorbency products, and if you’re not feeling well, “manage the flow in another way,” Glatt says.

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