GBS can be one of the most debilitating, difficult neurological reactions following vaccination. A client with GBS who comes to Baseluos Law Firm is often burdened by long rehabilitation stays, invasive surgery including lumbar puncture and Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG), and new restrictions on their ability to produce income and lead a normal life. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program will demand that a petitioner suffer residual symptoms of their injury for at least six months after their injury or major surgery. Often, GBS vaccine injury victims have no problem meeting the 6 month threshold as the various tingling, numbness, foot drop, temperature sensitivity, and general fatigue can linger for years after the first line of treatment. GBS vaccine injury victims often have strong claims for past and future suffering, past and future income loss, and past and future out of pocket medical costs.
In the course of recovery, the GBS victim will eventually walk without assistance. However, they may still continue to experience residual symptoms, including excessive fatigue, especially when exercising as well as fasciculations, which are brief, spontaneous contractions of the muscles. Michael Baseluos has witnessed GBS clients who even years after their initial vaccine injury, still experience paresthesia in both hands and easily fluctuating blood pressure and heart rate than prior to GBS. Rippling of the muscles under the eyelids and over the cheek along with intermittent diarrhea may also be present. White matter changes on the MRI is another tell tale sign of GBS sequelae, or long term consequences related to Guillain Barre. These findings are suggestive of autonomic dysfunction. There is no cure for the disorder, but several treatments can ease pain and reduce the duration of the illness. Most people recover completely from even the most severe cases of GBS. GBS survivors will return to some normalcy but these type of residual symptoms can still persist, forming a strong basis for compensation for future pain and suffering, income loss, and out of pocket medical costs.
In cases where the client was healthy before a flu shot, the government has a much more difficult time arguing that influenza infection, upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infection are the culprits behind Guillain Barre Syndrome. About two thirds of GBS cases have an antecedent infection within six weeks prior to symptom onset, generally an upper respiratory tract infection or gastroenteritis. Epstein-Barr virus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Campylobacter jejuni and cytomegalovirus, are some of the non-vaccine infectious agents.
Because vaccines affect the body at a micro level, it is impossible to know the exact mechanism by which they cause injury. We know GBS can be triggered not only by vaccines but also by a respiratory infection or the stomach flu. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which represents the government’s interest will often argue that a person’s GBS was triggered not by a vaccination but by a respiratory or gastrointestinal illness. A GBS lawyer like Mike Baseluos knows how to attack these arguments using strong neurologist experts. The key to success in a GBS vaccine injury case is to demonstrate the client had no antecedent upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infection within six weeks prior to symptom onset. Removing this argument creates a strong case where it becomes substantially probable that the flu vaccine for example is demonstrated to be the triggering factor for GBS similar to the one triggered by upper respiratory or gastrointestinal infection in non vaccination GBS patients. It should be noted that even in cases where the client did have an infection prior to GBS onset, arguments can be made on the timing element to demonstrate the vaccine, not the infection, was the most significant factor in causation.