Many people show up to get a vaccination and end up with much more than they bargained for. While these people expect that if they have a side effect from the vaccination it is because of the contents of the vaccination, many complications result from the manner of the vaccination itself. If the vaccination is administered improperly, the side effects can also have a lasting impact on the recipient. Specifically, when the injection is given in the wrong part of the shoulder, there can be complications that affect the patient’s use of the arm and can severely impact their daily lives.
The Growing Number of Flu Shots Presents Problems
Vaccinations are more readily available these days outside of a traditional doctor’s office. There are flu shot clinics located in pharmacies, and injections can even be given while you are at your job. This is manifested in the growing number of figurative “drive through” flu shot clinics. This means that there are more people giving injections than there were in the past. Now, you can never be sure of the level of training of the technician giving you the shot. At a doctor’s office, the technician will have more formal medical training. While those giving injections must be trained, there may be differences in the level of training and oversight based on different environments.
Improper Training Can Have Consequences
Those who have been fully trained know the proper location on the shoulder to administer the injection. Not only must the technician be precise about the location but they must also have the proper injection technique. In other words, the technician must have the area and the angle of the shot exactly right. There is not much margin for error when injecting a vaccine into the shoulder.
They must be precise in terms of putting the needle into the correct part of the shoulder because a mistake can cause complications. Specifically, injections must be given into the thick and central part of the shoulder. The injection must be administered into the deltoid capsule. If the technician is not careful or simply gets the injection location wrong, the patient can be at risk for complications in their shoulder.
Sometimes, the technician will administer the injection into the subdeltoid bursa. This is the exact wrong place in the shoulder to give the shot. When the patient receives the injection in that location, there will be inflammation that can be severe enough to cause long-term injury. This inflammation can impact the bursa and it can even spread to the rotator cuff. When the injury reaches the rotator cuff, it can greatly impair shoulder function.
In terms of technique, the technician must administer the vaccination at a ninety-degree angle to the skin. Needle choice is also important as the size of the needle should be calibrated to the size of the patient. Using a needle that is too large can lead to post-injection complications.
What Is SIRVA?
There are a number of different possible complications if the vaccine is given incorrectly. The most common problem from a vaccine that is given to the wrong part of the shoulder is called SIRVA. This is a weakness in the shoulder that leads to a loss of use when the vaccine is given incorrectly.
Many people will feel some pain and discomfort after a vaccine injection in the shoulder. However, for most people, the pain will go away within the first 48 hours after the injection. When the pain persists after this time, you have cause to be concerned. When SIRVA is involved, the pain will grow worse as time goes by after the injection.
At a certain point, the patient will have trouble lifting their own because the pain will be so severe. They will have difficulty performing the tasks of daily life because SIRVA is a debilitating condition. Patients will even struggle to get dressed in the morning and brush their teeth.
While these types of injuries are rare, the number of them seems to be growing in recent years. Since more people are getting flu injections, the amount of trained technicians has not risen to match the increased demand. As a result, there are many inexperienced technicians who do not necessarily know the right way to give an injection. This is evidenced by the growing number of claims for compensation as a result of shoulder injuries.
Brachial Neuritis from Vaccines
Another possibility from an improperly administered injection is brachial neuritis. This is a central nervous injury that also impacts the arm and the shoulder. Brachial neuritis is characterized by sudden and severe shoulder pain that becomes serious almost from the moment of onset. This condition is severe enough that it can result in numbness and paralysis of the arm and shoulder. In that way, it can even more severe than SIRVA. Brachial neuritis will often stay with a patient for years or even permanently. Most cases of the condition will not go away quickly and will require extensive treatments to help the patient recover.
When you have experienced pain in your shoulder after an injection, you will not be able to take legal action against the technician who administered the vaccine. However, you still have legal rights and can receive compensation for your injury if it is significant enough.
Anytime you are injured by a vaccine injection, there is a specialized mechanism for compensation provided that it is a vaccine that is administered to children. SIRVA and brachial neuritis are recognized vaccine injuries and, when you file a claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, you can receive a financial payment for the injury that you suffered. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Sadaka Associates handle many cases within this program. Contact them today for a complementary evaluation of your case.