Most children in the United States are vaccinated against certain diseases, including measles, rotavirus, polio and tetanus, to name a few. Although many parents assume vaccines are risk-free, they can injure children. In some instances, children suffer adverse side effects, such as anaphylaxis, blood clots, bowel injury, brain damage, chronic fatigue or nerve injury. In rare cases, a vaccine injury may lead to wrongful death. Vaccination is a medical practice intended to protect patients from disease, but even preventive care has its risks. When a vaccine injury occurs, an Orlando injury attorney with medical malpractice experience may be able to help.
How Do Vaccines Work?
Vaccines contain killed or weakened antigens that cause certain diseases. Because the antigen has been killed or weakened, the vaccine should not make a patient ill. Rather, the introduction of the killed or weakened antigen into a patient’s system should prompt his or her body to make antibodies against it, so the patient’s immune system will be ready to fight the antigen if the patient is exposed to it in the future. In some cases, however, a patient experiences adverse side effects as a direct result of the vaccine. Vaccine injuries can permanently damage a patient’s health and may even result in death. If a vaccine has injured you, an experienced Orlando injury lawyer will help you understand your rights under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
Vaccines Are Not Just for Children
Teens and adults can also be vaccinated. Some receive annual flu shots, others undergo a series of shots to be vaccinated against hepatitis, and many females are vaccinated against human papillomavirus as a means of reducing their risk for cervical cancer. For some teens and adults, the vaccines that are meant to prevent illness end up causing illness instead. If a vaccine has harmed you or a loved one, contact a qualified Orlando injury attorney today.
Symptoms of Vaccine Injury
A patient suffering from a vaccine injury may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Continued crying
- Crying that is high-pitched
- Hypotonia (decreased muscle tone)
- Excessive sleeping
- Persistent high fever
In cases of a severe allergic reaction, known as anaphylaxis, the patient may experience:
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Abnormal breathing
- Anxiety, confusion or slurred speech
- Coughing, wheezing or nasal congestion
- Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Fainting, light-headedness or dizziness
- Hives, itchiness or skin irritation
Parents whose children display symptoms of an abnormal vaccine reaction and teens or adults experiencing adverse side effects from a vaccine should consult a medical professional. In cases where a vaccine injury may have occurred, a knowledgeable Orlando injury lawyer can help protect the patient’s rights.