Toxic shock syndrome after inguinal hernia repair. Report of a case with patient survival.
A 40-year-old man developed fulminant multisystem failure several days after elective repair of an inguinal hernia. Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) was diagnosed. There was, however, no evidence of wound infection at the time of multisystem failure. Only later in his hospital course did the wound drain. Staphylococcus aureus was cultured from the wound and was the presumed etiologic agent in the patient's life-threatening illness. The patient recovered fully with supportive care, antibiotics, and surgical debridement of the inguinal hernia site. This case is discussed in the context of existing literature on the toxic shock syndrome. The site of infection is typically nonsuppurative, but the systemic manifestations are typically life threatening. The responsible organism is commonly believed to be a strain of S. aureus that expresses a toxin (TSS toxin-1) that effects multisystem failure, but which also diminishes the local inflammatory response and explains the benign appearance of the wound. Although this is a rare clinical entity, elective surgical procedures complicated by fatal TSS have been reported. Surgeons should understand this disease and the management necessary to avert mortality.
Slingluff, CL; Burns, WW; Cooperberg, C
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