What are the Signs of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS)?

Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a potentially serious medical condition that has been linked to the annual flu shot. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) provides compensation for GBS from the flu shot, and GBS is presumed to result from the flu shot when symptoms onset within three to 42 days of immunization. When it comes to GBS and the flu vaccine, there is a lot you need to know—including when to seek treatment and when to pursue a VICP claim.

Understanding the Symptoms of GBS from the Flu Vaccine

Guillain-Barre Syndrome has several primary symptoms. However, as there are several GBS variants, it is important to look beyond these primary symptoms to determine what type of treatment is necessary. Here are the primary symptoms of GBS, followed by symptoms that are specific to the disorder’s main variants:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty walking, climbing stairs and maintaining balance
  • Difficulty with bowel movements and bladder control
  • Loss of eye and facial control
  • Loss of reflexes
  • Sudden changes in heart rate or blood pressure

Acute Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy  (AIDP)

Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) is a variant of GBS in which the body’s immune system attacks the body’s healthy cells. In addition to the symptoms listed above, signs of AIDP include:

  • Loss of muscle control
  • Tingling
  • Weakness

Acute Motor Axonal Neuropathy (AMAN)

Acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN) is a variant of GBS in which the body’s immune system attacks the axons within the nerves. AMAN symptoms are generally consistent with the primary symptoms of GBS, and diagnosing AMAN (as opposed to GBS) typically requires electrodiagnostic and other forms of testing.

Bickerstaff’s Brainstem Encephalitis (BBE)

Bickerstaff’s brainstem encephalitis (BBE) is a GBS variant that affects the central nervous system. BBE is rare overall and is more common in adults than children. Symptoms that distinguish BBE from other variants of Guillain Barre Syndrome include:

  • Apnea (temporary cessation of breathing during sleep)
  • Double vision
  • Eye muscle paralysis
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Sensory impairments
  • Severe headaches
  • Upper body paralysis
  • Weakness

Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) is a chronic variant of GBS. For some flu vaccine recipients, the effects of CIDP will be permanent. Specific signs of CIDP include:

  • Abnormal gait
  • Dizziness when standing
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet
  • Weakness

Miller Fisher Syndrome (MFS)

Miller Fisher Syndrome (MFS) is a GBS variant that is characterized by more severe symptoms, which can potentially be permanent. Early warning signs of MFS include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Jerking of the ankles and knees
  • Rapid decrease in eyesight

GBS and the Flu Vaccine: Find Out if You Have a VICP Claim

Our firm provides nationwide legal representation for individuals and families that are coping with flu-related GBS. If you would like more information about filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, we invite you to call 202-800-1711 or contact us online to arrange a free and confidential consultation.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.