13-year-old girl dies from bacterial infection linked to tampons after doctors misdiagnose her

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Teen Dies After Doctors Misdiagnose Tampon Infection


When 13-year-old Jemma-Louise Roberts began feeling sick while on a family vacation in Wales, doctors wrongly diagnosed her with Norovirus, a vomiting bug. About a week later, the girl died from sepsis, a rare bacterial infection linked to using tampons.

When Jemma's condition suddenly deteriorated, her parents, Diane and Tony, rushed her to a hospital near her home in Wigan. There, Jemma was correctly diagnosed with Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). A week later on March 1, she died.



Now, in honor of World Sepsis Week, Jemma's mother Diane, 45, is sharing her story in the hopes of warning others of TSS signs and symptoms. She said:

"TSS used to be talked about in the Eighties but you never hear it now. If it can save just one more person it will be worth it."


The early symptoms of TSS include high fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A later symptom is a rash across the body. After all of these symptoms fail to be treated, TSS can cause fatal organ failure.


Before Jemma died, blood tests showed the presence of the rare staphylococcus bacteria linked to both TSS and sepsis. Jemma's friends and family have raised more than £33,000 for Alder Hey in memory of Jemma. Diane said:

"Her passion was teaching swimming to younger children. She always had a smile on her face and loved helping others."


Watch this video to learn more about the dangers of TSS:

Toxic Shock Syndrome and Tampon Use

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