Young man almost dies after sleeping without changing tampon

Ellie Makin, 18, nearly died after sleeping drunk and forgetting to change her tampon for 12 hours. The young woman had Toxic Shock Syndrome (TCS) and accuses the hospital of having initially neglected the case.

The resident of Droylsden, England, woke up with symptoms close to the flu after returning from a party. After still having nausea, dizziness, and vomiting, she remembered the tampon and researched toxic shock syndrome.


“I fell asleep drunk with a tampon and left it on for 12 hours, so I Googled my symptoms and knew it was toxic shock. I told my mom and she called helpdesk and they knocked on my door. When I answered the call, I passed out, so they took me to the hospital”, said the young woman to the the sun.

However, the student eventually passed out and was taken to North Durham University Hospital. At the scene, doctors said it was a viral infection and ruled out TCS.

“I took blood tests and they told me my white blood cell count was high, but they couldn’t identify where the infection was coming from, so they just recorded it as a viral infection and discharged me,” the student added.

“I knew it wasn’t a viral infection because I was dizzy and passing out – I said I was worried it was a toxic shock and I told them about the tampon, but they didn’t do anything about it,” she said.

However, despite being released from the hospital, Ellie went home and her symptoms continued to worsen. Only after returning to the health facility the next day would the doctors have confirmed the toxic shock syndrome due to the tampon.

Young man almost dies after sleeping without changing tampon
image: Reproduction/Social Networks

Misuse of tampon nearly cost your life

According to the MSD Manual, TCS is a rare disease, but most of the reported cases are linked with the incorrect use of tampons. The condition is considered serious and can lead to organ failure or even death if not treated quickly.

“They say it’s a fatal disease and you’re lucky you got it now. It was scary and made me angry with the way the Hospital treated me”, added the young woman, who promises to be more careful with the use of tampons from now on. She is still recovering from the illness, which has long-term symptoms such as hair loss and scaling of the feet and hands.

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In a note sent to The Sun, the hospital said: “There are times when a patient develops more symptoms after leaving the care of our emergency department staff, who would support a specific diagnosis. We encourage patients to return to the hospital for further investigation when new symptoms arise or existing symptoms persist.”

“We are sorry that Ellie is dissatisfied with the care she has received and would appreciate an opportunity to discuss this and your overall experience with her, if she finds it helpful,” the article concludes.

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