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What is SIRVA?

Getting a vaccination can be a good thing, unless you're one of the thousands of Americans who end up with a shoulder injury after receiving a flu shot or other vaccine. This painful condition, known as shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA), is becoming increasingly common and can cause long-lasting health problems.

What causes SIRVA?

Vaccine injections should be given in the thick middle section of the deltoid muscle where there's ample room for the immune response to take effect. But these days, with flu shots offered at workplace clinics, pharmacies and places other than a doctor's office, the injection may be administered too high in the arm — into the fluid-filled bursa or the rotator cuff at the top third of the deltoid muscle, which is a more vulnerable part of the shoulder. When vaccinations are injected into the wrong section of the arm, or at the incorrect angle, chronic pain and other adverse reactions can occur.

Symptoms of SIRVA

If you've had a flu shot or other vaccination and are experiencing shoulder pain — beyond temporary soreness, inflammation or swelling — you may be a victim of SIRVA.

Symptoms include reduced range of motion, rotator cuff tear and frozen shoulder. Nerve damage and chronic pain can also occur. Any of these symptoms can disrupt a person's lifestyle, cause persistent sleep problems and make simple tasks, such as getting dressed or performing household chores, difficult and painful.

Getting help for your injury

Physical therapy to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility may be helpful. Cortisone injections can relieve pain and inflammation for some patients. Others with SIRVA opt for surgery to remove the affected tissue.

SIRVA victims may need to seek legal help, including assistance from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, to be fairly compensated for medical bills, loss of productivity and other expenses associated with their injury. Over the past few years, there has been a growing awareness about injection shoulder injuries and an increase of SIRVA cases in the court system. If you suffer from a shoulder injury due to a flu shot or other vaccine, contact an experienced attorney today to discuss your case.

The risk of being injured from a vaccine is small and shouldn't cause people to stop getting flu shots and other vaccinations, or to avoid drop-in clinics. (Not all cases of SIRVA occur from vaccines administered in pharmacies and similar settings.) But it is important to remember that vaccines should be given with proper protocols — which include administering the shot into the middle part of the deltoid muscle and at a 90-degree angle. You can also visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website for more information.

If you believe you have SIRVA or another type of vaccine injury, it is in your best interest to talk to an attorney with experience in this unique area to find out if you may be entitled to compensation.

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Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Phone: 817-763-9553
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Phone: 214-698-5988
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Map & Directions

Phone: 817-763-9553
Phone: 214-698-5988
Fax: 817-763-5891