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Three-year-old nearly died from toxic shock syndrome 

A three-year-old girl nearly died after being scratched by the family kitten led to her developing deadly toxic shock syndrome (TSS).

Milanna Batstone, who was battling chicken pox at the time, was scratched by the pet on a spot on her neck, however, her mother Kelly Batstone, 35, was initially unconcerned.

Yet, within hours Milanna, from Taunton, Somerset, was screaming in pain and rushed to hospital where she became lifeless, covered in a rash and unable to stop vomiting.

After spending days in hospital, including her third birthday, the youngster was successfully treated, however, Ms Batstone believes Milanna would not have survived if her doctor had not recently treated another TSS patient.

She said: ‘I only knew what toxic shock syndrome was from reading about it on tampon boxes. Luckily, our doctor had treated a patient with it a few months earlier, so she recognised it straight away.

‘If it wasn’t for that doctor, I don’t think Milanna would be here today.’

Although the chicken pox spot allowed easy entry of TSS-causing bacteria into Milanna’s body, anyone could potentially be affected if they have a break in their skin.

Ms Batstone, who is working with the charity TSS Aware, is keen to raise awareness of the condition.

Milanna Batsone nearly died from toxic shock syndrome (pictured with her mother Kelly, 35)

Although initially fine, she woke screaming in pain and was rushed to hospital within hours

Although initially fine, she woke screaming in pain and was rushed to hospital within hours

The condition was caused when the family kitten scratched a chicken spot mark on her neck

The condition was caused when the family kitten scratched a chicken spot mark on her neck

WHAT IS TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME? 

Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare but life-threatening condition caused by bacteria entering the body and releasing harmful toxins.

TSS is caused by either Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria, which normally live harmlessly on the body. 

The condition is often associated with tampon use, but can affect either sex regardless of their age.

Other causes include a wound on the skin, childbirth or a bacterial throat infection. 

Symptoms include a high temperature, nausea, vomiting, a widespread rash and dizziness.  

Treatment may involve antibiotics, fluids to prevent dehydration, oxygen to assist breathing and medication to control blood pressure.

Most people make a full recovery if they are treated early enough.

TSS can help to be prevented by treating wounds quickly, alternating tampons with sanitary towels, washing hands before inserting or removing tampons, using the lowest absorbency tampon required and changing tampons frequently.

Source: NHS Choices 

‘I felt like something really wasn’t right’ 

Milanna, who was two years old at the time, was kept in the house by her mother after catching chicken pox last month.

Ms Batstone, a nail technician, said: ‘She was itchy and uncomfortable, but it didn’t hit her too hard.

‘She was playing with our pure white kitten Chanel when she caught one of the spots on Milanna’s neck with her claw, but I didn’t think anything of it at the time.’

Just hours later, when Ms Batstone was putting her daughter to bed, she noticed the spot on her neck was far redder than the others, but was not overly concerned.

Yet, in the early hours of October 29, Milanna woke screaming in pain.

Ms Batstone said: ‘At 12.45am, she woke me up. She was holding her neck and saying “Ow, ow, ow!”

‘I switched the light on and saw there was a huge lump on her neck, about the size of a £2 coin. It had come up in just a few hours.

‘I knew it was a really bad infection or something and I told Christopher [her husband] I was taking her to the hospital. I felt like something really wasn’t right.’

As a rare condition, Milanna's mother believes she lived due to an experienced doctor

As a rare condition, Milanna’s mother believes she lived due to an experienced doctor

The spot on her neck was initially redder than others but grew to the size of a £2 coin

The spot on her neck was initially redder than others but grew to the size of a £2 coin

It took doctors an hour to stabilise the youngster by giving her fluids and antibiotics

It took doctors an hour to stabilise the youngster by giving her fluids and antibiotics

‘I didn’t realise it was something kids could get’

Waiting in A&E at Musgrove Park hospital, Taunton, Milanna was initially happily running around the waiting room.

Yet, around one hour later, the youngster started vomiting and became lifeless in her mother’s arms.

Ms Batstone said: ‘It was really scary. I knew there was something very wrong. I pressed the buzzer to get someone to help and explained she had gone downhill.

‘They took us into resus and were trying desperately to get a cannula into her hand. Her veins were collapsing and she had a rash all over her body. It looked like a heat rash.

‘It took about an hour to get her stabilised. By that point, doctors had been able to get fluids and antibiotics into her to try to help her.’

After Milanna was stabilised, doctors explained to Ms Batstone she had developed TSS, which is caused by bacteria getting into the body and releasing harmful toxins.

Ms Batstone said: ‘I only knew what toxic shock syndrome was from reading about it on tampon boxes, as tampons can cause it. I didn’t realise it was something kids could get. 

‘It was frightening because, although I didn’t know much about it, I did know it was really serious.

‘The doctor who diagnosed her said we were lucky, because it’s quite rare, and they don’t always spot it quickly. Luckily, our doctor had treated a patient with it a few months earlier, so she recognised it straight away. 

‘If it wasn’t for that doctor, I don’t think Milanna would be here today.’

Milanna spent days in hospital, including her third birthday, where nurses gave her gifts

Milanna spent days in hospital, including her third birthday, where nurses gave her gifts

Her mother is keen to raise awareness of the condition (pictured before the incident)

Her mother is keen to raise awareness of the condition (pictured before the incident)

There is a chance Milanna could develop the syndrome again (pictured before)

There is a chance Milanna could develop the syndrome again (pictured before)

‘There’s a risk that she could develop it again’ 

Once stable, Milanna was transferred to a general ward where she stayed for five days.

Ms Batstone said: ‘We were really upset, because she was in there for her birthday.

‘Still, the nurses were amazing and they surprised her with a present – a doll with accessories and a handmade bag, so she would at least have something to open.’ 

Ms Batstone, who is working with the charity TSS Aware, is keen to raise awareness of the symptoms of the condition.

She said: ‘I would advise anyone who experiences symptoms – which include a high temperature, a headache, chills, muscle aches, a sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, a widespread sunburn-like rash, the whites of the eyes, lips and tongue turning bright red, dizziness or fainting, breathing difficulties, confusion and drowsiness – to go straight to hospital.

‘It might just be a cold or flu, but it’s not worth taking the risk. If you get treatment quickly, you can make a full recovery.

Ms Batstone hopes that, despite her ordeal, Milanna will not suffer any long-term effects from TSS.

She said: ‘There’s a risk that she could develop it again as having it before means your body is more likely to react that way again.

‘If we see any signs, we will have to take her to hospital immediately. If she falls over and cuts herself, we also need to keep an eye on any wounds. I’m going to be extremely vigilant and really wary of everything.’

Find more information about TSS here.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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