What is Anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is an acute, potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction that causes the system to go into shock when exposed to an agent the body is allergic to, such as a vaccine. Anaphylaxis develops rapidly, and typically peaks in severity within 5 to 30 minutes. Anaphylaxis may, on occasion, last for several days. Anaphylaxis is characterized by a number of signs and symptoms, alone or in combination, which occur within minutes, or up to a few hours, after exposure to a provoking agent, such as a vaccine. Cases of Anaphylaxis can be mild, moderate to severe, or severe, but any anaphylaxis has the potential to become life-threatening.
Anaphylaxis often involves swelling, hives, lowered blood pressure and in severe cases, shock. If anaphylactic shock isn't treated immediately, it can be fatal. A major difference between anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions is that anaphylaxis typically involves more than one system of the body.
Symptoms of Anaphylaxis usually start within 5 to 30 minutes of coming into contact with an allergen to which an individual is allergic. In some cases, however, it may take more than an hour to notice anaphylactic symptoms.
Warning signs of Anaphylaxis may include red rash (the rash may be itchy, including hives or welts) swollen throat or swollen areas of the body, wheezing, passing out, chest tightness, trouble breathing, hoarse voice, trouble swallowing, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramping, pale or red color to the face and body.
Is Anaphylaxis Caused by Vaccines?
The incidence of anaphylactic or severe allergic reactions to vaccines is very low, and is reportedly less than one case per million vaccine doses. Studies of Anaphylaxis incident to vaccines report no deaths. The cause of the reaction is usually not the immunizing antigen within the vaccine, but rather some other ingredient contained in the vaccine such as egg protein from the production process or gelatin added as a stabilizer. Most people with egg allergy can be vaccinated without any reaction. Vasovagal reactions with or without hyperventilation are common after vaccination. They can be rather dramatic and are often mistaken for anaphylactic reactions. Correct diagnosis is important in making it possible to vaccinate those who might otherwise run the risk of serious infections.
Hiring an Experienced Vaccine Attorney for Your Anaphylaxis Claim
If your claim meets certain requirements, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program will pay your attorney's fees and other legal costs related to your claim, whether or not you are paid for a vaccine injury. However, the VICP will not pay the fees of petitioners representing themselves, but may pay other legal costs, whether or not the claim is actually paid as long as certain minimal requirements are met. In light of these facts, having a skilled vaccine attorney on your side may also help you cut down on costs associated with your vaccine injury claim.
Due to the highly specific nature of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, it is helpful for injured persons to seek out representation from an attorney who is well-versed in Anaphylaxis-related vaccine injury claims like Leah Durant of Washington, DC.
Contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant at 202.800.1711 and schedule a free consultation to discuss your vaccine injury claim.