Vaccination administrations, particularly the flu shot, has caused numerous cases of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (“GBS”) to recipients across the country. If you have received a flu shot and developed GBS or Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (“CIDP”), you may be entitled to compensation. Our firm has represented hundreds of clients suffering from GBS as a result of flu shots and other vaccines.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome, commonly referred to as GBS, is a disease that affects the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system connects the central nervous system (i.e. the brain and spinal cord) to the arms, legs, and internal organs. The peripheral nerves are found throughout the torso and limbs.
The fibers of the nerves are protected by an insulating layer of proteins and fats called myelin. An attack on the myelin usually results in its periodical loss. When the myelin is lost, the nerve fibers become unprotected. Subsequently, the unprotected nerve fibers may then become damaged.
Because these peripheral nerve fibers are responsible for carrying signals from the brain to the limbs, this damage can lead to decreased sensation, numbness, tingling, weakness, or paralysis in the limbs. Often, Guillain-Barre Syndrome symptoms will start in the legs and progress up the body to the head and arms. Other GBS symptoms include facial paralysis, respiratory difficulty, and vision problems.
Guillain-Barre Syndrome is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system essentially malfunctions – the immune system attacks necessary and normal parts of the body.
In the case of GBS, the cause of this autoimmune response is usually a foreign infection. The flu shot is one such foreign infection that can cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Read Max Muller's blog on Guillain-Barre Syndrome here.
To diagnose GBS, the treating doctor will usually prescribe an EMG to test the functioning of the nerves and a spinal tap to test spinal fluid for infection. In severe cases, the patient may suffer from paralysis of the diaphragm which would make respiratory assistance through intubation necessary.
The most common treatments for GBS are plasmapheresis and intravenous immunoglobulins (“IVIG”). Plasmapheresis is essentially a blood filtering process wherein antibodies are removed from the blood stream. IVIG is a blood treatment that neutralizes antibodies and relieves inflammation. Once a level of functioning is achieved, the patient will likely be prescribed physical therapy.
If you received a flu shot or other vaccine and were diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, you may qualify for compensation from a government fund called the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Contact our vaccine injury lawyers for a free consultation.