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What Is a SIRVA Injury?

Richard H. Moeller Sept. 9, 2016

Earlier this month I discussed what a “Vaccine Injury” is in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP). More and more, the NVICP is compensating persons who have a particular kind of Vaccine Injury called a “SIRVA” which stands for shoulder injury related to vaccine administration. Just as it sounds, it is an injury that follows the injection of the needle in the shoulder during a vaccination, causing sudden and ongoing pain, limited range of motion, and sometimes damage to the shoulder structures, requiring surgery.  Most often the person will have little or no history of shoulder problems, with the onset of pain, dysfunction, or discomfort very soon after the vaccination. It is believed that most SIRVA injuries are caused by the improper insertion or placement of the needle into shoulder area.  Some may result from an immune reaction with the vaccine, causing a neurological injury.

As with any Vaccine Injury, the NVICP will only compensate persons who receive one of the vaccines covered by the program. The vaccines go by several different names: diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, DTaP, Tdap, DTP, P, DTP-Hib, DT, Td, TT, measles, mumps, rubella, MMR vaccine, hepatitis A vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, Hib, varicella vaccine, chicken pox vaccine, rotavirus vaccine, pneumococcal conjugate, meningococcal, PCV vaccine, Prevnar, polio, OPV, IPV, flu vaccine, trivalent influenza vaccine, seasonal flu vaccine, human papillomavirus vaccine, HPV vaccine, Cervarix, and Gardasil.

Injuries or conditions association with SIRVA include: arm pain, shoulder pain, shoulder dysfunction, limited range of motion or lack of flexibility, inflammation, shoulder bursitis, granuloma, tendinopathy, adhesive capsulitis, frozen shoulder, post-injection inflammatory reaction, subacromial bursitis, bicipital tendonitis, radiculopathy, humerus contusions, supraspinatus injury, subacromial bursa effusion, impingement syndrome, complex regional pain syndrome, rotator cuff injury, Parsonage-Turner syndrome, and brachial neuritis.  Some doctors are even recommending that SIRVA be incorporated into the possible causes of prolonged shoulder pain.

If a person has a SIRVA, they may be entitled to compensation from the NVICP. Claims for compensation to the NVICP are made to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims located in Washington, D.C., by filing a petition.  Most “petitioners” are represented by lawyers. A lawyer representing a petitioner must be admitted to practice in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

When our firm is contacted by a person who believes he, she, or a family member may have suffered a SIRVA or other Vaccine Injury, there is no fee to visit about the claim, or to investigate the claim, or to pursue the claim.  Also, the firm pays the expenses incurred to pursue the claim. Therefore, the case can be handled free of charge. And if the claim is paid, any legal fees and costs are paid separately from the amount the person receives, so that the recovery is not reduced by legal expenses. Therefore, there is no reason for a person to not be represented by a lawyer in a SIRVA or Vaccine Injury claim.

You can contact us about a possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page . And you can learn more about the NVICP and the firm's representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog.