Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP) Vaccine Injury Attorney

ITP After MMR Vaccine or Other Immunization? Contact a Vaccine Injury Lawyer to Learn Your Options

Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a blood disorder that causes issues with clotting. While not normally life-threatening, in some cases patients can experience symptoms lasting six months or longer, and ITP has the potential to cause certain potentially-serious complications. There has been no confirmed link between ITP and the flu shot, but several recent cases have established a link between ITP and the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

Individuals diagnosed with ITP following an MMR immunization may be entitled to financial compensation for their medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other losses. Some vaccine recipients will be entitled to compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), while others may be eligible to file civil claims in state court. To find out if you have a claim for ITP after an MMR vaccine, call 202-800-1711 now for a free, no-obligation consultation with vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant.

About Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

As explained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), “[idiopathic] thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clotting. People with the disease have too few platelets in the blood.” As a result of the immune system attacking the platelets necessary for clotting, individuals who contract ITP following an MMR vaccination can experience symptoms including:

  • Easy or excessive bruising
  • Superficial bleeding that appears as tiny reddish-purpose spots on the skin (usually on the lower legs)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Nose bleeds
  • Blood in the stool or urine
  • Unusually-heavy menstrual flow

Potential complications of ITP include bleeding in the brain and loss of blood in the digestive tract among all patients, and heavy bleeding during delivery among women who are pregnant. Additionally, the NLM warns that, “[p]eople with ITP should not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or warfarin, because these drugs interfere with platelet function or blood clotting, and bleeding may occur.”

While most patients’ symptoms will subside within four to five months, some patients may experience symptoms lasting six months or longer. In severe cases, patients can experience long-term health conditions, and relapses after symptom-free periods are also possible.

About the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has been in use in the United States since 1971. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that children receive a first dose of the MMR vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age, with a second dose being administered between the ages of four and six years. Teens and adults who have not previously received the full two-dose schedule can receive MMR vaccinations as well.

Seeking Financial Compensation for ITP from the MMR Vaccine

According to the CDC, “[i]mmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) . . . can happen after both natural measles infection as well as after getting the MMR vaccine. . . . The risk of ITP has been shown to be increased in the six weeks following an MMR vaccination, with one study estimating 1 case per 40,000 vaccinated children.” These findings are consistent with those published by Johns Hopkins’ Institute for Vaccine Safety, which reports that:

“[I]nfluenza, varicella, measles, mumps and rubella vaccines prevent ITP by protecting against natural infection. Measles-containing vaccines can very rarely cause ITP within 6 weeks of vaccination in children. However, these vaccines prevent many more cases of ITP than they cause. Influenza vaccines do not cause ITP. Other vaccines currently routinely recommended to the general population in the U.S. have not been shown to cause ITP.”

The MMR vaccine has also been shown to cause ITP in adults, with women generally being more susceptible than men. As a result of this correlation, adults and parents of children diagnosed with ITP after an MMR vaccination can seek financial compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) or in state court.

ITP and the COVID-19 Vaccine

There is now evidence to suggest that ITP may also result from COVID-19 vaccination. At this point, relatively little is known about the link between ITP and the COVID-19 vaccine, and various research studies are currently underway.

Diagnosis of ITP From a Vaccine

In most cases, doctors can diagnose ITP from a vaccine using blood tests. These tests check the level of platelets in the blood; and, since ITP causes the immune system to destroy platelets, a low platelet count on a blood test may be indicative of ITP.

When diagnosing patients who present with symptoms of ITP, doctors should also examine patients’ medical histories and current medications. Certain illnesses (other than ITP) and certain drugs can also affect platelet count, so this is an important step in providing an accurate diagnosis. In some cases, doctors may also need to perform bone marrow exams in order to rule out other potential diagnoses.

Treatment of ITP From an MMR Shot or Other Vaccine

Doctors have a variety of treatment options in cases involving ITP from an MMR shot or other vaccine. Possible forms of treatment for ITP include:

  • Corticosteroids

  • Immunosuppressant medications

  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)

  • Platelet transfusions

  • Thrombopoietin receptor agonist medications

Not all forms of treatment will be necessary (or appropriate) in all circumstances. As a result, in addition to accurately diagnosing patients who have ITP, it is critical for doctors to prescribe patient-appropriate forms of treatment as well.

In life-threatening cases, more immediate or more invasive forms of treatment may be necessary. This includes more aggressive administration of IVIG and platelet transfusions than in non-emergency scenarios, as well as the use of methylprednisolone. As the Merck Manual explains, “High-dose methylprednisolone (1 g IV once/day for 3 days) is easier to administer than IVIG or IV anti-D immune globulin but may not be as effective. . . . Vincristine (1.4 mg/m2; maximum dose of 2 mg) has also been used in emergency situations but may produce neuropathy with repeated administration.” In some cases, removal of the spleen will be necessary to stop platelet destruction and improve the patient’s platelet count.

During the recovery process, the Mayo Clinic recommends avoiding contact sports and other activities that carry a risk of brain injuries, monitoring for signs of infection (particularly after spleen removal), and being particularly careful with over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen that can impair platelet function. Rest is often recommended for patients diagnosed with ITP from a vaccine, as it not only promotes recovery but also reduces the risk of injuries and related complications.

Recovery and Prognosis for Children and Adults Diagnosed with ITP From a Vaccine

For children who are diagnosed with ITP from an MMR vaccine, a full recovery is often possible. However, spontaneous remission is a concern, and doctors and parents must keep it in mind going forward. If ITP causes severe bleeding, the condition could become life-threatening. However, with appropriate treatment, patients (both children and adults) will typically be able to make a full recovery.

Filing an ITP Vaccine Injury Claim Under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal government program that pays compensation to vaccine recipients who have been diagnosed with eligible vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. This includes ITP from a vaccine where the claimant can demonstrate that he or she:

  • Received an MMR shot;
  • Experienced the onset of ITP symptoms within seven to 30 days of vaccination; and,
  • Experienced symptoms of ITP for six months or longer.

If each of these three conditions are satisfied, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims (also known as the Vaccine Court) has indicated that it will concede the claimant’s case without trial. Learn more.

Filing a Claim in State Court

For those who are not eligible to file under the VICP, an alternative option is to file a claim in state court. This option may be available if your symptoms lasted less than six months. Our firm is actively pursuing possible multi-district or class action litigation for MMR-related ITP claims.

Q&A With ITP Vaccine Injury Lawyer Leah V. Durant

How does the MMR vaccine cause ITP?

In some cases, individuals diagnosed with measles can subsequently contract ITP. Since the MMR vaccine contains an attenuated measles virus, some individuals who receive the MMR vaccine will be at risk for ITP.

How much will it cost to hire a lawyer to represent me?

It should cost you nothing out of pocket to hire a lawyer for your MMR-induced ITP claim. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) pays claimants’ legal fees separately from their awards of financial compensation, and our firm is handling all state court claims on a contingency-fee basis.

Can I contact your firm if it has been less than six months since my MMR vaccination?

Yes. If you have been diagnosed with ITP after the MMR vaccine, we encourage you to contact us regardless of how long it has been since your diagnosis. We can begin working on your claim immediately, and if your symptoms last six months or longer we can file your claim under the VICP.

Schedule Your Free Initial Consultation Now If You Developed ITP from a Vaccine

To find out if you are eligible to recover financial compensation for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) resulting from an MMR vaccination, please contact us to schedule your free initial consultation with vaccine lawyer Leah V. Durant. Call 202-800-1711 or contact us online to discuss your claim as soon as possible. 

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