Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) – What Is It, And What Are Your Rights When It Is A Vaccine Injury?
Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy – “CIDP” for short – is a rare autoimmune disorder where the body’s immune system mounts an inflammatory response that attacks peripheral nerves in the arms and legs. Essentially, the body’s natural defenses attack its own healthy tissue. CIDP is characterized by progressive weakness in the limbs, fatigue, numbness, and other abnormal sensations. Specifically, CIDP symptoms are caused by damage to the myelin sheath – a fatty protective covering that surrounds nerve fibers. CIDP is closely related to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and is similar in the way it creates chronic nerve problems for its patients.
Some common symptoms of CIDP can include:
- Tingling or numbness in the arms, hands, or feet
- Unexplained weakness in arms or legs
- Coordination problems and difficulty walking
- Sensory changes in extremities
- Breathing problems and slurred speech
What Causes CIDP?
As with many autoimmune disorders, the causes are difficult to pinpoint and can be related to genetic and environmental factors. Causal links between some vaccines and CIDP have been reported going back to 1976, and these concerns continue into the present day. When there is some connection between administration of a vaccine and onset of CIDP, the symptoms may not appear for at least 8 weeks in some individuals. This makes it more difficult to demonstrate the connection in some cases. Patients might not seek treatment until months after receiving a vaccine, and even then might not mention the vaccine dose to their provider.
While much of the research on this issue is newer and still developing, several studies have shown connections between CIDP and recent doses of vaccines such as the influenza or H1N1 vaccine. When a normally healthy patient receives a vaccine and goes on to experience unexplained symptoms affecting their nerves within 8-12 weeks, there may be cause for concern and further investigation. If a connection can be made between the vaccine administration and CIDP, the patient may be eligible for compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).
Financial Recovery in Cases of Vaccine-Related CIDP
Addressing recovery in vaccine injury cases where CIDP is involved is a unique process. Instead of filing a civil lawsuit, individuals bring their claim in the US Court of Federal Claims, which has its own system addressing complaints under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Ideally, this claim will be brought by a vaccine injury attorney with knowledge of the VICP system and how best to obtain recovery for their clients.
Typically, vaccine injury claims brought through the Court of Federal Claims can result in compensation for the patient and separate compensation for attorney’s fees in the case. This means the recovery won by a vaccine patient is not split with their attorney. Approximately $200 million is paid out to patients and their attorneys through the VICP each year.
The Vaccine Injury Attorneys at Green & Schafle Can Help if You or a Loved One Has Suffered CIDP in Relation to a Vaccine
If you experience tingling, numbness, poor coordination or other seemingly unexplainable symptoms within the weeks following a vaccine, there might be a connection. For most, however, it is hard to know where to start and what your rights may be. If you have experienced symptoms of Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) within 8-12 weeks of receiving a vaccine and want to know more about your rights and remedies, call our Philadelphia vaccine injury attorneys at Green & Schafle.