While flu vaccine injuries are not always common, but when you do experience them, they can have profound consequences. These injuries can cost you movement in your arm and can take away your ability to live your daily life. Whether it is due to a reaction to the contents of the vaccine or the way in which the shot is given, flu vaccine injuries can be severe at times. If you have had a flu shot and are experiencing pain or an adverse reaction, it is vital that you know the range of possibilities. Besides being informed, the most important thing that you can do if you are experiencing complications is to seek medical attention. Here are five injuries that you can sustain from a flu vaccine.
Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)
SIRVA is one of the most common flu vaccine injuries that you can suffer. This injury happens when the vaccination is administered to the right part of your shoulder. This is unfortunately more common than you would think since flu vaccines are given in many different places such as drive-in clinics and on the job, and the people giving the shots may not be fully trained in how to administer a flu vaccine.
SIRVA occurs when the injection is given into the subdeltoid bursa. This means that it is administered too high on the shoulder and the technician did not landmark the proper place for the injection. When this happens, you will begin to feel pain within 48 hours after the injection. Eventually, this pain will lead to a loss in the range of motion in your shoulder. In some cases, SIRVA can be treated with physical therapy, although recovery can take many months. In other instances, the damage from SIRVA can be permanent and can rob you of your ability to work and enjoy many of your daily activities. SIRVA is now the most common flu vaccine injury based on claims filed with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
GBS is a dangerous condition that occurs when your immune system trains its fire on the central nervous system and attacks it. This generally occurs in the wake of an infection that your body has tried to fight off and defeat. While it is unclear exactly how the flu vaccine is connected with GBS, bear in mind that a flu shot does introduce a version of the virus into your body and your immune system works to build immunity to it.
Symptoms of GBS will usually take two to four weeks to fully develop. The first sign of GBS is a weakness and tingling in your extremities, including your arms. Eventually, the weakness will give spread to the entire body and can have serious consequences. Many of those who suffer from GBS will have difficulty walking and may not have full use of their arms. In critical cases, patients will have difficulty swallowing and breathing, and this is where GBS becomes life-threatening.
Recovery from GBS is not always easy, although patients can fully recover from it. In other instances, patients can experience lifelong effects from GBS.
PTS is another condition that occurs after an event that relates to your immune system. This disease is also known as brachial neuritis and will usually impact the arms and shoulder. PTS symptoms start with excruciating pain in the arm of shoulder. This will damage the muscle and will then result in subsequent weakness in the arm of shoulder. At that point, the muscle will continue to atrophy and wither, affecting your future use of your arm. The most serious cases of PTS may result in paralysis of the affected arm. PTS can spread to affect both of your arms at the same time.
For some patients, the symptoms of PTS will go away on their own after several months. However, during that time, PTS symptoms are debilitating and can keep you from living a normal life. Other patients will require physical therapy and other interventions to restore full function of their arms and shoulders. In more extreme occurrences of PTS, patients will require surgery to reverse the damage.
Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)
CIDP is the chronic form of GBS, and it also involves an instance where the immune system attacks the nervous system. Here, the fibers that protect the nerves called myelin are attacked and damaged. When this happens, the fibers are lost, leaving the nerves unprotected. This leaves them subject to damage. When the nerves are damaged, they cannot carry messages to and from the brain and it will affect the body’s ability to carry on normal daily functions. CIDP can lead to numbness, tingling and other loss of sensation. In a worst-case scenario, CIDP can lead to paralysis.
CIDP will generally start in the legs and progress to the arms and shoulders. It can even lead to facial paralysis and difficulty breathing. Patients will require an intense form of treatment called IVIG therapy where the blood is filtered and certain antibodies are removed. After that, patients will need prolonged physical therapy to recover as much normal function as they can.
Vaccines are composed of strands of the virus itself as well as other filler and stabilizers. Patients may be allergic to some of the contents of the vaccine and not know it until after they have received the vaccine. Some allergic reactions to a flu vaccine are mild. However, in rare cases, the patient can experience a severe reaction that can be life threatening. This is called an anaphylactic reaction and requires immediate treatment.
In an anaphylactic reaction, the patient can experience shortness of breath or swelling of the throat. The patient will need an immediate injection to counter the effects of the allergic reaction. This will alleviate many of the symptoms of the allergic reaction.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a flu vaccination, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates to discuss your legal rights and your possible eligibility for compensation.
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