Shoulder injury as a result of vaccine administration or SIRVA is becoming an even more common side effect of flu vaccines. Now, nearly half of the compensable cases of vaccine injury in front of the vaccine court result from shoulder injury after flu vaccinations. Many people have some sort of discomfort after a vaccination injection. This is natural when there is a long needle injected in your shoulder area.
However, when the discomfort is acute and severe pain that starts right after your injection and does not go away, there is likely something worse going on with your shoulder. One of the shoulder ailments is called SIRVA, but the diagnosis is usually frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) or bursitis.
How do you get SIRVA?
SIRVA does not result from an allergic reaction or an adverse response to the vaccine components like many other vaccine complications. Instead, SIRVA happens after because the injection was given too high into the shoulder into the shoulder joint or bursa.
Other causes of SIRVA are when the technician either injects the needle too deep into the shoulder or uses a needle that is too long. The injection will then cause inflammation and injury to the joint. Some of this damage may be long-lasting and permanent.
Is SIRVA More Prevalent Today?
The number of Americans who are getting flu vaccines is on the increase. Now, roughly half the population will receive a vaccination each year. Not all of these vaccines are given in a doctor’s office by highly trained nurses. Now, you can get a flu vaccination practically anywhere, including at pharmacies and drive-in clinics. Some people who are administering the injection may not be fully trained and thus, are more prone to making errors.
Thus, there has been an increase in the number of cases of shoulder injuries classified as SIRVA (frozen shoulder, bursitis). In addition, since patients may now be compensated for their SIRVA injuries, more people are reporting their cases of the illness, whereas in the past, they may have endured the pain and not said anything. When people know that their injury has a name and is a recognized condition, they are more likely to report it.
What Are the Symptoms of SIRVA?
Pain related to SIRVA will usually come quickly after the injection, and it can be severe. In other words, SIRVA is rarely a low-grade injury. Nearly all cases of SIRVA will start to present pain within the first 24 hours after injection.
When the pain does not go away within the first few days after rest and pain medication, you will know that you likely have some damage to your shoulder. There are several different vaccine-related conditions that impact the shoulder and SIRVA is one of them. You will likely also be experiencing a loss of some strength and motion in your shoulder.
What to Do if Your Experience Shoulder Pain After a Vaccine?
The first thing that you should do is rest your shoulder and decrease your activity. Stop using your shoulder so long as you feel serious pain. You should also take some over-the-counter pain medications to help relieve any swelling that you are experiencing. If the pain does not go away within a week after your vaccination, make an appointment to see a medical professional to have your shoulder evaluated. Document anything that the physician finds in their examination.
Is SIRVA Curable?
MAYBE. There are a variety of different ways to treat SIRVA, although a full recovery is not a guarantee. In a best-case scenario, your case of SIRVA can be helped by some simple rest. However, most cases are more complex than that. Some intense regimens of physical therapy can lead to a reduction of your symptoms and can help you regain your range of motion in your arm. In addition, there are regimens or oral steroids and injections that can help facilitate recovery. However, some cases of SIRVA may be permanent and can lead to a loss in full usage of your arm due to the impact on your shoulder.
So I Have SIRVA, What Do I Do Next?
Once you have seen a physician and have been diagnosed with SIRVA (bursitis, frozen shoulder, etc), you need to document the extent of your injuries and the damages that you have suffered from them. You should seek out an experienced vaccine injury attorney who can tell you what your legal options are.
While you may think that SIRVA is just debilitating shoulder pain that you are forced to live with, it is actually a recognized injury from vaccinations for which you can obtain compensation. Talk to your attorney about how you would file a claim with the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. This fund exists to pay people who have suffered injuries from vaccinations, and most claims that are filed result in some sort of compensation.
Is SIRVA Recognized as a Compensable Injury?
YES. In order to be compensable, the injury must be recognized by the Secretary of Health and Human Services and included on the vaccine injury table. SIRVA was recently added to the list. Immediately, there have been a multitude of filings for compensation for SIRVA with the VICP, and it is now one of the most common compensable injuries.
How Much Compensation Can I Receive for Shoulder Injury as a Result of Vaccine Administration?
The general range of compensation in SIRVA cases is between $20,000 and $160,000. Most awards are between roughly $80,000 and $110,000. The actual compensation that you receive will depend on the extent of your injuries.
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The first step in helping yourself or a loved one after a serious vaccine related injury is to contact us for a free review of your case.