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Sinus Infections Can Cause Toxic Shock in Kids

by The Kid's Doctor Staff


Sinus infections may be a primary factor in about 20 percent of toxic shock syndrome cases in children, a new study has found.

According to background information in the study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and The Children’s Hospital of Denver, fever, rash and low blood pressure are among the signs of toxic shock syndrome, widely regarded as a disease associated with tampon use and menstruation.

“Although not as publicized, numerous other risk factors have been established for toxic shock syndrome in association with focal infections, such as surgical wound infections [notably after rhinologic surgery and nasal packing], postpartum and postabortion infections, and a wide variety of connective tissue lesions,” said Dr. Kenny H. Chan.

The researchers looked at the medical records of 76 children with an average age of 10, identified as having toxic shock syndrome. Of those children, 23 were also diagnosed with either acute or chronic rhinosinusitis, which is an infection and inflammation in the sinus passages surrounding the nose.

Ten of the 23 children with toxic shock syndrome and rhinosinusitis were admitted to the intensive care unit, four required medications to increase blood pressure and six underwent surgery. The full results of the study appear in the June 2009 issue of Archives of Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery.

“This study illustrates several salient points concerning toxic shock syndrome and rhinosinusitis in children,” Chan and colleagues wrote. “First, rhinosinusitis as the primary culprit in the pathogenesis of toxic shock syndrome is not a sporadic phenomenon. In fact, the frequency of this combination

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