A 20-year-old woman was rushed to hospital and almost died after using the wrong type of tampon.
Katie Knight, from Inverness, Scotland, spend 48 hours being sick and spent four days in intensive care where she was said to be just hours from death.
After using a super-absorbent tampon, Katie was suffering from Toxic Shock Syndrome – a potentially fatal bacterial infection commonly linked to the sanitary product.
“I genuinely thought I was going to die,” she told the Metro.
On the fourth day of her period, the young woman put in a tampon that was an unsuitable level of absorbency as she was revising for an assignment and planning a full day of work.
She explained, “I was in the library trying to finish an assignment so I was pretty stressed when I started feeling unwell.
“I went down to the cafe to get a coffee and a piece of cake because thought it might be to do with my period, even though it was the fourth day.
“I then splashed my face with water as my essay was due the following day and I really needed to get it done. I ended up having to ring a taxi to take me home because I couldn’t walk.”
For the next 24 hours, Katie started being violently sick and passing out every 25 minutes.
“When I was being sick, the last thing I was thinking about was my period – and because I had no idea I had TSS, I left my tampon in,” she added.
But the next day, things got even worse.
Katie’s flatmate became increasingly concerned, particularly when she started talking ‘gibberish’.
She said, “My flatmate, who’s thankfully training to be a doctor, came into my room because she hadn’t seen me for two days.
“Apparently I was just talking gibberish and making no sense whatsoever. She asked me what was wrong and I said my “activities were sore”.
“She took my temperature and rang the NHS who told me to go to A&E straight away.”
By this point, Katie couldn’t walk or talk and was rushed into intensive care.
The tampon had been left in for 48 hours; something which Katie believes amplified the problem.
“It just got so out of hand and my period was the last thing on my mind.”
After spending a week in hospital, four days of which were in intensive care, Katie was told that she might not make it through.
Doctors explained that they had found a tampon in her system, which lead them to the Toxic Shock Syndrome diagnosis.
While super absorbency tampons like that which Katie was wearing are commonly associated with TSS, all types can potentially cause the infection.
As a result, Katie insists that she now prefers to use sanitary towels.
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