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Marketed Product That Has Significant Potential to Produce Pathology
Most girls after attaining puberty may have been warned of a serious sickness traditionally linked with tampon usage. Tampons are a widely market product for the female gender specifically manufacture to obstruct menstrual blood flow during menstruation. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is a severe sickness that has been allied to tampon use since the late 1970’s and as such, instigated studies aimed at informing better utilization of super-absorbent tampons (Yoshida, Takazono, Tashiro, Saijo, Morinaga, Yamamoto, & Nishino, 2016). This essay seeks to discuss tampons as a marketed product with a significant potential to generate pathology.
Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) is an uncommon but serious illness which can affect children, women and men (Adalat, Dawson, Hackett, & Clark, 2014). When particular strains of the antigens Streptococcus pyogenes and Staphylococcus aureus are presented within a host’s body, toxins produced enter the circulatory system causing a horde of accompanying symptoms which if left unchecked lead to fatality (Adalat et al., 2014). Symptoms initially experienced are flu like in manifestation and may include nausea, fever, diarrhea, disorientation, fainting, and vomiting (Yoshida et al., 2016). Other associated symptoms include shock, blood pressure, peeling skin, sunburn like rash, muscle pain, sore throat and peeling skin. It is an ailment that requires immediate treatment.
It is important to highlight that TSS is note isolated to tampon use. Other market products such as the diaphragm and contraceptive sponge are two forms of birth control whose usage has resulted in cases of TSS (Dixit, Fischer, & Wittekind, 2013). The sickness is also known to occur where bacteria are able to penetrate broken skin after surgery, burn, scald or cut. It is also manifested in rare cases after child birth, extended application of nasal packing to combat nosebleeds as well as during chicken infection. It is worth noting that all the above named instances rarely lead to the manifestation of TSS in human beings (Dixit et al., 2013).
TSS potentially affects the entire body and as such, is termed as a systemic illness caused by the Streptococcus pyogenes (strep) and Staphylococcus aureus (staph) (Government of Canada, 2015). However, most cases of TSS are attributable to the presence of the staph bacteria in human beings. The toxins emanating from these bacteria result in serious symptoms among people whose immunity is unable to respond appropriately. On average, TSS symptoms emerge after 72 hours of infection though this is dependent on the type of contamination (Government of Canada, 2015).
The bacteria produce exotoxins that once in a person’s bloodstream lead to severe systems especially if the immune system is unable to generate potent antitoxin antibodies to act as defenses. Specific mediators remain unknown though it is believed that cytokines like the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and interleukin l (IL-1) are implicated (Government of Canada, 2015). These exotoxins influence T-cells ability to attach to receptors and the class II main histo-compatibility complex of antigen producing cells (Government of Canada, 2015). T-cells are therefore able to propagate throughout the body leading to shock and tissue damage. Production of polyclonal immunoglobulin is curtailed by the generation of interferon-gamma further inhibiting a patient’s capacity to produce antibodies to counter the toxins. This is considered as the reason behind patient’s experiencing TSS relapses (Tremlett, Michie, Kenol & van der Bijl, 2014).
In conclusion, it is critical for women with earlier experiences with TSS to avoid tampon use and more so, for all users to exercise strict hygiene in tampon application. As this paper has discussed, tampon usage has a high potential of producing pathology. Where an individual experiences TSS related symptoms, it is imperative that qualified medical care is sought immediately.
Adalat, S., Dawson, T., Hackett, S. J., & Clark, J. E. (2014). Toxic shock syndrome surveillance in UK children. Archives of disease in childhood, 99(12), 1078-1082.
Dixit, S., Fischer, G., & Wittekind, C. (2013). Recurrent menstrual toxic shock syndrome despite discontinuation of tampon use: Is menstrual toxic shock syndrome really caused by tampons?. Australasian Journal of Dermatology, 54(4), 283-286.
Government of Canada. (2015) Menstrual tampons. Government of Canada. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-medical-devices/menstrual-tampons.html
Tremlett, W., Michie, C., Kenol, B., & van der Bijl, S. (2014). Recurrent menstrual toxic shock syndrome with and without tampons in an adolescent.The Pediatric infectious disease journal, 33(7), 783-785.
Yoshida, M., Takazono, T., Tashiro, M., Saijo, T., Morinaga, Y., Yamamoto, K., … & Nishino, T. (2016). Recurrent Streptococcus agalactiae Toxic Shock Syndrome Triggered by a Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Inhibitor. Internal Medicine, 55(21), 3211.