What is Guillain-Barre Syndrome (“GBS”) and How is it Related to the Flu Vaccine?

Sometimes, the flu vaccine can cause Guillain-Barre syndrome (“GBS”). It can also cause GBS to be triggered if it was already underlying.  As an injury, GBS has been recognized by the Vaccine Court, where these claims are filed.  The flu vaccine is one of the vaccines listed on the Vaccine Injury Table published and monitored by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), as one of the vaccines that can cause harm.

GBS “is characterized by symmetrical weakness that usually affects the lower limbs first, and rapidly progresses in an ascending fashion. Patients generally notice weakness in their legs, with or without dysesthesias (numbness or tingling). As the weakness progresses upward, usually over periods of hours to days, the arms and facial muscles also become affected. Frequently, the lower cranial nervesmay be affected, leading to bulbar weakness, oropharyngeal dysphagia (drooling, or difficulty swallowing and/or maintaining an open airway) and respiratory difficulties. Facial weakness is also common.” Wikipedia.

The causal connection between the flu vaccine and GBS is not always initially recognized when you present to your doctor or emergency room with symptoms of GBS.  However, a skilled and experienced doctor, who looks at your medical history in detail (including your receipt of a vaccine) should make the connection.  If you have symptoms of GBS, be sure to tell you doctor when and where you received the flu vaccine (or any other recent vaccine) and discuss the vaccination as a possible cause of a GBS diagnosis.

If you have GBS and you received the flu vaccine, as long as you meet the other prerequisites, you may have a claim for pain and suffering as well as other remedies.  The government is fully aware of this GBS as a possible side effect of the flu vaccine and has conceded to that fact several times.  The court has paid plaintiffs millions of dollars in damages over the years and the Department of Justice attorneys (which defends HHS) has conceded to this injury from the flu vaccine by settling many cases like these.  Between November 16, 2013 and February 15, 2014 there were 27 settlements in the Vaccine Court where injured parties were compensated.

If you have GBS and you suspect that it could be a result of receiving the flu vaccine, call Widman Law Firm for a free case evaluation. These cases are subject to a strict statute of limitations, so do not delay.

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