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[Tragedy of suspected toxic shock syndrome death]

The death of a 13-year-old girl in Queensland from suspected toxic shock syndrome is tragic, the Minister for Family Services, Senator Rosemary Crowley, said today.

"However, it must be highlighted that the Coroner's inquest has not yet been held and therefore the exact cause of death has not been established."

"The Therapuetic Goods Administration has offered the assistance of its laboratory resources to the office of the Coroner in Mount Isa to attempt to determine the source of the infection and organism known to be associated with Toxic Shock Syndrome," Senator Crowley, who has responsibility for the TGA, said.

Senator Crowley said she had sought a report from the TGA on the question of national standards relating to tampons.

"In Australia, tampons have been classed as therapeutic devices under the Therapeutic Goods Act since 1991," she said.

"At the request of the TGA late in 1991, the Australian Standard for tampons was reviewed by Standards Australia in a consultative process with representatives of Federal and State government, consumer groups, the medical profession and industry.

"A revised Australian/New Zealand Standard was finalised by Standards Australia last December 1994 and is expected to be published by Standards Australia in March.

"The Government will examine the revised standards and the report from the TGA before making any decision to mandate national standards under legislation.

"The paramount consideration will be the safety of consumers," Senator Crowley said.

Contact:

Kim Robbins (06) 2777 240, 018 627 465