Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a disease that affects the nervous and immune systems, causing numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and loss of reflexes. Many people diagnosed with GBS experience a full recovery. In a small percentage of cases, however, GBS may lead to permanent nerve damage, disability, paralysis, or even death. Chronic instances of GBS are commonly referred to as Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP).
While the exact cause of Guillain Barre Syndrome remains unknown, certain vaccinations have been known to trigger bouts of GBS. In particular, experts have noted a link between GBS and the annual flu shot – and many individuals have successfully obtained compensation for GBS by filing claims under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
Signs and Symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS)
The symptoms of Guillain Barre Syndrome can worsen rapidly. If you believe you may be experiencing signs of GBS, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In particular, individuals should contact their physician following receipt of a flu vaccine if they experience:
- Tingling, prickling or “pins and needle” sensations that start in the fingers, wrists, toes or ankles
- Weakness in the legs or arms
- Tingling or weakness that spreads rapidly throughout the body
- Difficulty controlling eye or facial movements
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Rapid heart rate or high blood pressure
- Difficulty breathing
If you have recently been given the flu shot, be sure to tell your doctor about your recent vaccination. Many of these symptoms can be associated with other medical conditions, and providing a detailed account to your doctor will enable your physician to make an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment for GBS
There are two primary forms of treatment for GBS most commonly in use. The current treatments for GBS are:
- Plasmapheresis – Plasmapheresis involves taking blood out of the body in order to remove the harmful antibodies that cause GBS. The cleaned blood is then returned to the body.
- Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) – With IVIG, helpful antibodies are added to the blood in order to fight the harmful antibodies that cause GBS.
Some victims experience GBS as a recurring condition. Both plasmapheresis and IVIG can help reduce the severity of relapses as well.
Recovering from GBS
For individuals who are able to make a full recovery, the symptoms of GBS typically begin to subside in approximately four weeks. However, this may require weeks of inpatient treatment, and patients may need to be monitored for signs that their GBS is worsening. Because Guillain Barre Syndrome can become fatal when it weakens the respiratory system impacting breathing, heart rate and blood pressure, doctors will often monitor patients until their condition begins to improve.
Seeking Compensation for GBS Caused by Vaccinations
The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC has been successful in helping individuals obtain financial compensation for cases of GBS linked to flu vaccinations. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with GBS following receipt of a flu shot, contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC today to discuss your case. Our Firm specializes in representing individuals harmed by vaccines, and obtaining money for their injuries through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Our fees are paid by the Court, which means that our representation of your vaccine injury claim comes at no financial cost to you.
Learn More about Seeking Compensation for Vaccine-Related GBS
At Law Offices of Leah V. Durant PLLC, we represent clients in VICP claims nationwide. To learn more about how to obtain compensation for Guillain Barre Syndrome related to the flu shot, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to speak with you today.