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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Other infections

Question: Long Term Effects of Toxic Shock Syndrome/Sepsis

 Indiana2 - Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:39 pm

In early January of this year I was brought to the emergency room and was told I was in septic shock and they later determined I had Toxic Shock Syndrome. It was not related to tampon use - they attributed it to cutting myself while shaving and then going into a hot tub as I had a swollen lymph node in my groin and hadn't recently had my period. My blood pressure dropped so low and I was having such a difficult time breathing that I spent four days in the ICU (they couldn't determine what specific bacteria was causing the infection so they put in an internal jugular line for numerous antibiotics) and then remained at the hospital for another three for monitoring. I was prescribed clindamycin and suprax upon being discharged.

I recovered well (however my liver enzyme count was elevated until late February before returning to normal). My question more specifically is what are the long term effects toxic shock syndrome and sepsis entail? My skin already peeled but I am now experiencing hair loss (it comes out in handfuls but there is no scalp showing yet - after some research i concluded it is or at least resembles telogen effluvium). It has been shedding for a week now and I was wondering if this is typical or at least what i should expect - how bald will i get?! Are there any other possible side effects that can surface from my experience?

Side note - I have a scar that is a noticeable red and feels like a knot in my skin - over the spot where they placed the internal jugular line, will this scar ever go away and is it even supposed to be there?

 Debbie Miller, RN - Sat Apr 25, 2009 11:19 pm

User avatar Hello,
You have experienced a serious infection and you can consider yourself fortunate, lucky or blessed to not have had more serious consequences. At this point you should just continue to heal and I would expect a full recovery unless there was some specific organ damage with the infection. I suspect the loss of hair may be your body's response to the shock.

Hair is considered disposable to your body - something to be sacrificed if needed while conserving energy preserving the vital organs. In most cases this would come back, though there's no way to predict how much loss you may experience. Systemic infection like this can affect each person differently. When it comes to infection there is nothing that is "supposed" to happen since the very nature of dis-ease is that it is NOT normal. I'm afraid we can't predict your response or even whether or not the symptoms you have noticed are related to the original infection. You should discuss this with your doctor.

Best wishes.

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