Every year, millions of Americans prepare for influenza season with a flu vaccine in the form of an injection or nasal spray. For some people, the vaccination process is uneventful. The opposite scenario is true for many others. Flu vaccination injuries are real and surface in several different forms.
The peak of flu season is approaching. If you plan to receive a flu vaccine, learn some of the risks you might face and how to identify them.
Anaphylaxis and Anaphylactic Shock
Anaphylaxis is a reaction that occurs when some people are exposed to specific allergens. Anaphylactic shock is a severe allergic reaction. Itching, hives, and swelling around the tongue and lips are common ways anaphylaxis surfaces.
Anaphylactic shock, on the other hand, restricts blood and oxygen delivery to the body's vital organs. The delivery disturbance may even limit your ability to breathe. Immediate medical treatment is vital to stabilize the person, or loss of life could occur. Symptoms of either type of reaction often appear in the immediate moments after the vaccine is administered.
Vaccine-induced responses result when a person has an allergy to an ingredient found in the solution. For example, many flu vaccine solutions include some level of egg protein. Even a small amount of exposure to the protein can prompt a severe reaction for people with heightened egg allergies. People with egg allergies should not receive a flu vaccination for this reason.
Remember, you have the right to know about potential allergy triggers found in the vaccine before it's administered.
Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, or CIDP, is an autoimmune disorder that prevents the body's nerves from responding and functioning correctly. A human nerve is made up of a collection of fragile fibers. Myelin, a combination of fats and proteins, surrounds and protects the fibers.
CIDP sends your immune system into overdrive. Over time, your overreacting immune system generates a response that attacks the myelin. As a result, the nerve fibers become exposed and are at an elevated risk for damage.
Nerves deliver critical messages throughout your body, such as those that allow you to feel and move. Consequently, someone with CIDP may notice limb weakness, excessive fatigue, difficulty walking, and slurred speech.
The onset of CIDP is typically gradual, with symptoms worsening as time passes. Flu vaccinations can trigger the onset of CIDP. Recovery from this condition is varied, with some people experiencing long-term complications. The specific connection between the flu vaccine and CIDP is not fully known.
Parsonage-Turner Syndrome, or PTS, is best described as a nerve disorder that targets the upper arm or shoulder, which is also the area where the flu vaccine is typically injected.
The onset of PTS involves unrelenting immediate and intense pain that progresses to weakness around the affected area. In some instances, the nerves and muscles that surround the affected area are also targeted. As a result, the pain and discomfort you experience become more significant.
PTS is thought to be the result of a foreign element that triggers the body into an autoimmune reaction. A flu vaccine can fall into this category.
PTS symptoms resemble many of the same symptoms as a shoulder bone injury, which can lead to a misdiagnosis. If you experience these symptoms after your flu vaccine, do not settle for an x-ray alone. An electromyograph (EMG) test is best for detecting neurological injuries.
Recovery from this condition is possible with an accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment. Physical therapy is often used as a treatment option.
Don't ignore your symptoms. If you suspect your injuries or medical condition is the result of the flu vaccine, seek counsel. A discovery that your injuries are vaccine-related may entitle you to compensation. Contact Vaccine Injury Lawyers for a detailed review of your situation and further assistance.