What is Guillain Barre Syndrome and Can It Result from the Flu Vaccination?

Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a rare but dangerous medical condition that has been linked to the annual flu shot. In many cases, individuals who contract GBS after getting vaccinated against the flu are eligible to recover their medical expenses and other losses through the federal government’s National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

Understanding Guillain Barre Syndrome

GBS is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to attack the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms are usually weakness and tingling in the extremities. However, an individuals’ conditions can quickly worsen – in some cases leading to total paralysis.

While the symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome are generally treatable (although there is currently no known cure), GBS should be treated as a medical emergency. Some individuals experience persistent fatigue, numbness and weakness even after receiving treatment. To mitigate the duration of these symptoms and reduce the risk of paralysis, it is important for individuals who believe they may have GBS to obtain a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible.

Other possible early warning signs of Guillain Barre Syndrome include:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Difficulty controlling eye or facial movements

  • High blood pressure and increased heart rate

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

  • Prickling or “pins and needles” sensations in the fingers, wrists, toes or ankles

Excluding infants (who are less likely to contract the disease), individuals in all age groups are equally at risk for contracting GBS. Guillain Barre Syndrome affects approximately 1 in 100,000 Americans each year.

Does the Flu Shot Cause GBS?

Doctors do not yet know the exact cause of Guillain Barre Syndrome. However, evidence suggests that getting the annual flu shot may increase an individuals’ risk of contracting the disease. At the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, our firm has been successful in helping individuals obtain compensation for GBS under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Since GBS is not currently listed on the Vaccine Injury Table, in order file a successful claim under the VICP, petitioners must be able to establish a sufficient link between their vaccination and the onset of their GBS. This generally requires evidence of reliable medical theory, a logical sequence of cause-and-effect and proof that the condition arose within a reasonable timeframe after vaccine administration. When presented with sufficient evidence, the government will often settle so-called “off-table” VICP claims (including claims for GBS caused by the flu shot) obviating the need for more costly litigation.

Contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC about Your Flu Shot Illness or Injury

Vaccine injury lawyer Leah Durant represents individuals nationwide in claims for compensation under the VICP. If you or a loved one has experienced symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome after receiving a flu shot, contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC today. You or your loved one may be entitled to financial recovery, and our services will come at no financial cost to you.

To request a free consultation, call (202) 800-1711 or contact us online today.