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Leah Durant | Vaccine Attorney - Vaccine Blog

Monday, February 3, 2020

What are the Risks of Getting a Flu Shot Too High on the Arm?

There are right and wrong ways to administer vaccines. Although giving someone a flu shot may seem like a fairly straightforward process, mistakes during immunizations are common, and these mistakes often lead to a class of injuries known as Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA). One of the most-common mistakes that can lead to SIRVA is inserting the needle too high on the patient’s arm.

What is the Proper Location for Administering a Flu Shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidelines for proper administration in a book titled, Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, also known as the “Pink Book.” The Pink Book explains:

“Almost all inactivated vaccines [including most variants of the flu shot] are administered by the intramuscular route. Many inactivated vaccines contain an adjuvant, which is a vaccine component that enhances the immune response to the antigen. Adjuvants can cause an exaggerated local reaction (e.g., pain, swelling, redness) if not injected into the muscle, so proper technique is critical. There are only two routinely recommended IM sites for administration of vaccines, the vastus lateralis muscle (anterolateral thigh) and the deltoid muscle (upper arm). Injection at these sites reduces the chance of involving neural or vascular structures.”

When administering the flu shot, the CDC advises that the needle should be inserted at a 90-degree angle to the skin, and the practitioner administering the vaccine should stretch the skin flat prior to needle insertion. The needle should be inserted as close to the center of the deltoid muscle as possible, which means that the patient’s sleeve should generally be rolled up rather than their collar being pulled down.

How Do Vaccination Errors Cause Shoulder Injuries?

When a flu shot is improperly administered, the needle can cause damage to the nerves, muscles and other soft tissue beneath the surface of the skin. This damage can lead to various types of injuries, all of which are classified as SIRVA. The most-common forms of SIRVA linked to improper flu shot administration are:

  • Adhesive capsulitis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Shoulder tendonitis

While most patients who are diagnosed with these injuries can fully recover with proper treatment and rehabilitation, recovery takes time, and the pain and physical limitations caused by these injuries can impact all aspects of their lives.

What are My Rights if I have been Diagnosed with SIRVA?

For individuals who have been diagnosed with SIRVA, seeking financial compensation can be an important part of the recovery process. The National Vaccine Injury Program (VICP) is a federal government program that covers the cost of medical care and provides additional compensation to individuals who have experienced vaccine-related injuries and illnesses.

The VICP provides compensation on a no-fault basis, and you can hire an attorney to handle your VICP claim at little or no out-of-pocket cost. Learn more about seeking compensation for SIRVA under the VICP.

Discuss Filing a VICP Claim with an Experienced Vaccine Injury Lawyer for Free

If you would like more information about filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Program (VICP), we encourage you to contact us for a free initial consultation. To speak with national vaccine injury lawyer Leah V. Durant in confidence, call 202-800-1711 or inquire online today.

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.

 


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© 2014 -  Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC | Disclaimer
1717 K Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006
| Phone: 202-800-1711

Vaccine News | Vaccine Injuries | Vaccine Blog | Side Effects | Locations | About | Case Results | Testimonials | FAQs
Representing clients with vaccine claims since 2013

Law Firm Website Design by
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