Vaccine Induced Transverse Myelitis
Transverse myelitis is a serious neurological disorder that can cause pain, sensory problems, and muscle weakness. Unfortunately, vaccines can cause transverse myelitis in rare cases. If you’ve been diagnosed with TM after receiving a vaccine, you could be eligible for compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). It is important to speak with a vaccine injury attorney right away, as there are strict deadlines to file a claim.
What is Transverse Myelitis?
Transverse myelitis is an inflammation of the spinal cord. It occurs when the body's immune system attacks healthy nerve cells in the spine, causing damage to the myelin sheath that protects these nerves. This damage can disrupt communication between the brain and the rest of the body, resulting in a wide range of symptoms that can vary from mild to severe.
Symptoms of Transverse Myelitis
Symptoms can either develop suddenly (within a few hours) or gradually over days or weeks. If you experience these symptoms after receiving a vaccine, it’s important to seek medical attention right away.
Sensitivity to touch or temperature
Bowel and bladder symptoms
Frequent need to urinate
Difficulty holding urine
Urine leakage (incontinence)
Sharp or blunt
May start in your lower back
May shoot down your arms and legs or wrap around your core or chest
Loss of balance
Difficulty walking (stumbling or dragging your feet)
Partial loss of function, which may develop into paralysis
Risk Factors for Transverse Myelitis
Transverse myelitis does not discriminate against people of any age, gender, or race. The cause is officially unknown, but the disorder most commonly affects those between the ages of 10 and 19 or 30 and 39.
Causes of Transverse Myelitis
Transverse myelitis is a rare nervous system disorder for which, in many cases, the cause is unknown. However, certain conditions often precede transverse myelitis:
Bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal infection, such as HIV, syphilis, varicella zoster (shingles), West Nile virus, Zika virus, enteroviruses, and Lyme disease
Immune system disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Sjögren syndrome, and lupus
Other inflammatory disorders, such as sarcoidosis, or a connective tissue disease called scleroderma
Disorders that affect the blood vessels around the spine
Can Vaccines Cause Transverse Myelitis?
Multiple studies have discussed the relationship between transverse myelitis and various vaccines. In the NVICP, transverse myelitis injuries are most commonly found after TDaP, HPV, and MMR vaccines. These vaccine injuries occur in infants, children, and adults. The fact that different vaccines have been associated with this one phenomenon suggests that there might be a common element that triggers the syndrome.
The Mayo Clinic has recommended that individuals who contract transverse myelitis from a vaccine treat their situation as a medical emergency. This is because in severe cases, paralysis may occur below the site of inflammation in the spinal cord. Furthermore, due to how general the symptoms of transverse myelitis are, there is always a risk that patients’ conditions will be misdiagnosed for something else entirely, such as a stroke or vascular myelopathy.
Transverse Myelitis Prognosis
Although people with transverse myelitis may experience little to no residual effects, for others the healing process can take years. Most individuals have at least partial recovery within the first few months after contracting it, but some permanent impairments might prevent them from completing daily tasks. Some individuals will only experience transverse myelitis once. However, others may have a recurrence if an underlying illness caused the disorder in the first place. There is currently no cure for transverse myelitis, but there are treatments available that can prevent or minimize permanent neurological deficits.
How to Receive Compensation Through the NVICP for Vaccine-Related Transverse Myelitis
Transverse Myelitis is a debilitating and often permanent condition that can be caused by certain vaccinations. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with acute Transverse Myelitis after receiving a covered vaccine, you may be eligible to receive compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is a government-run alternative to filing traditional lawsuits for those who have been injured by certain vaccines. In order to take advantage of the NVICP, you must file a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. There are specific rules that must be followed when submitting a claim and deadlines that must be met. An experienced vaccine attorney can help you navigate the process and help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Who can file a claim with the NVICP?
If you want to file a petition through the NVICP, you need to be:
Injured after receiving a covered vaccine,
The parent or legal guardian of a child or disabled adult who received a covered vaccine and you believe they were injured by it, or
The representative of a deceased loved one and you believe a covered vaccine led to their death
Deadlines for Petitions
There are certain deadlines that must be met when filing a claim through the NVICP. By missing these deadlines, you give up your right to file a claim.
If you were injured by a vaccine: three years after the first onset of symptoms
If your loved one died from a vaccine: two years from the date of death
How much does it cost to file a claim with the VICP?
One of the great benefits of the VICP is that it covers attorneys’ fees and expenses! You can file a claim with the VICP at no cost to you.
How much compensation can I receive through the NVICP?
The amount of compensation you can receive is dependent on your situation, the severity of your symptoms, and how long they lasted. With some exceptions, there typically is no set compensation amount for specific vaccine injuries. However, depending on the severity of your vaccine-related injuries and damages, the compensation you receive can be substantial. Receiving compensation through the NVICP is complex, which is why it’s important to consult with a vaccine injury lawyer. An experienced vaccine attorney will be able to help you better understand your options.
Don't wait. There are deadlines to file your claim. The experienced vaccine injury attorneys at the Law Offices of DuPont and Blumenstiel can help. Call us today at 614-389-9711 for a case evaluation.
Want to learn more about the NVICP? Download our Consumer's Guide to Vaccine-Related Injuries here.
BRADEN A. BLUMENSTIEL
The law gives Braden a pragmatic way to solve problems using his background in clinical psychology. He is a talented presenter in the courtroom, as he understands how to effectively question witnesses and relay information. He specializes in vaccine injury, personal injury, probate litigation, and business law, and has been recognized for his work by SuperLawyers.