Miller Fisher Syndrome (MFS) is a variant of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that has been linked to certain vaccinations, including the annual flu shot. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), most patients diagnosed with MFS achieve “almost complete” recovery within six months, although “[s]ome are left with residual deficits [and] [r]elapses may occur rarely (in less than 3 percent of cases).”
Diagnosing Miller Fisher Syndrome from a Flu Shot
As a variant of GBS, Miller Fisher Syndrome is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system. Specifically, the immune system attacks the protective covering surrounding the nerves (known as the myelin sheath), which disrupts the nervous system’s signals to the brain. This causes three primary conditions:
- Areflexia – Loss of reflexes
- Ataxia – Difficulty walking and controlling muscle movements
- Ophthalmoplegia – Weakening of the eye muscles resulting in double vision
In most cases, these conditions become progressively worse for approximately seven days, and then recovery begins within two to four weeks of the onset of symptoms. As the disorder begins to impair the functioning of the nervous system, patients will typically experience initial symptoms such as:
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing and speaking
- Drooping eyelids (known as ptosis)
- Facial weakness
- Loss of balance
- Poor coordination
Anyone experiencing these symptoms following a vaccination (including a flu shot) should seek medical attention promptly. Patients should inform their doctors about their recent vaccinations. In most cases, physicians will use one or more of the following tests to diagnose MFS:
- Physical examination
- Electromyography (EMG)
- Nerve conduction study (NCS)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Lumbar spinal tap
Financial Compensation for Vaccine-Related Disorders (Including MFS)
Diagnosis and treatment of Miller Fisher Syndrome (which typically involves intravenous immunoglobulin or plasmapheresis) can lead to substantial medical bills; and, due to the disabling effects of the disorder, patients will often miss significant time from work during the recovery process. Patients diagnosed with MFS may also experience chronic pain over months or years, and the small percentage of patients who experience relapses can face a lifetime of costs and complications.
For individuals who have been diagnosed with Miller Fisher Syndrome following a flu shot or other vaccination, it is important to speak with a lawyer about filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP is a federal government program that Congress created in 1987 in order to help individuals diagnosed with vaccine-related injuries and disorders. Prior to the creation of the VICP, individuals with vaccine-related injuries and disorders had to file lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies to recover their medical bills and other losses. With the VICP, patients can recover compensation without the burdens of traditional litigation, and many patients can receive settlements in as little as a few months.
Learn about Your Rights Under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)
If you would like more information about filing a claim under the VICP for Miller Fisher Syndrome or any other variant of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation. To speak with national vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant in confidence, please call (202) 800-1711 or inquire online now.
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.