Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) Reported More Frequently

There has been a rise in Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA), which usually occurs when a vaccine injection is improperly administered into the deltoid bursa or shoulder joint. However, SIRVA can also occur when the vaccine is properly administered. SIRVA can cause symptoms that include:

    Shoulder Injuries

  • Intense pain
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Frozen Shoulder Syndrome
  • Inflammation
  • Humerus Contusions
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Bicipital Tendonitis

The two primary causes of SIRVA are:

  • Trauma to the musculoskeletal structure of the shoulder, which includes the tendons, ligaments, and deltoid bursa.
  • The body’s immune system responding adversely to the vaccine.

SIRVA stands apart from other vaccine injuries because SIRVA is caused by the manner in which the vaccine was injected. An estimated 70% of SIRVA cases stem from the flu shot, but the tetanus and pneumonia shot are also common vaccines that lead to SIRVA.

The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System stated that SIRVA is on the rise. The United States law requires all vaccine injury lawsuits go through the Office of Special Masters of the United States Court of Federal Claims. Since 2011, there have been 112 individuals with SIRVA who were awarded compensation, and more than half of these cases occurred within the past year.

SIRVA injuries have not been added to the Vaccine Injury Table, but there are currently efforts to have the injury added to the list. When a table injury occurs, it is though to be caused by the vaccination, so a petitioner will not need to prove the vaccine caused the condition because it is presumed.

Why is There an Increase in SIRVA?

Although there are several reasons SIRVA cases are increasing, one of the main causes is lack of proper training of individual who administers the vaccine. There are also many Americans who choose to get vaccinated at pharmacies, which puts them at a higher risk than those vaccinated at clinics. When individuals go to pharmacies for vaccinations, they may not be asked to expose enough of their arm to have the vaccine safely administered, which leads to the injection site being too high and resulting in injury.

How is SIRVA Diagnosed?

A primary care physician may refer an individual with a shoulder injury to an orthopedic specialist for diagnosis. In most cases, an orthopedic doctor will issue an MRI of the shoulder because it is the most reliable diagnostic test for shoulder injuries. An MRI can show if any swelling, inflammation, fluid retention, or tears are present in the shoulder.

Is SIRVA Treatable?

With most individuals, rest and oral or injectable steroids are the first methods of treatment. SIRVA is also treated with physical therapy and pain medication, which will increase range of motion and reduce swelling. Although treatment can help alleviate some of the symptoms of the condition, most people with SIRVA will continue to experience pain after treatment ends. When the condition is severe, surgery may be required to repair ligaments and tendons that were damaged.

What Should You do if you have SIRVA?

If you have been affected by SIRVA, then it is important to contact an attorney. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program handles all SIRVA claims and an experienced attorney can help individuals through the process.

Learn more about Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration and Vaccine News.

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