Dermatomyositis or JDM

Juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM) is an inflammatory disease that affects an estimated 3,000-5,000 children in the United States. Some vaccines may trigger JDM in those predisposed to the condition.

Contact a Vaccine Injury Lawyer Today

The nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP is offering free, no-obligation legal reviews to the parents and caregiver of children diagnosed with dermatomyositis or JDM following vaccination. To learn more about filing a vaccine injury claim, please call (888) 994-5118.

What is Dermatomyositis?

JDM is an inflammatory disease that causes muscle weakness and a skin rash on the eyelids and knuckles. Roughly 1 in 5 children with dermatomyositis will also experience joint symptoms, though they are usually mild.

While some children with JDM will go into remission, a small number will have chronic disease.

JDM Symptoms

Most cases of juvenile dermatomyositis begin as a red or purplish rash around on the eyelids or cheeks.

Other possible JDM symptoms include:

  • Patchy rash around the nails, elbows, knees, chest and back.
  • Muscle weakness (beginning at the same time as the skin rash, or days, weeks or months after), usually in the neck, shoulders, back and stomach.
  • Difficulty running, climbing stairs, sitting from a lying position or standing from a seated position.
  • Falling
  • Weak voice (dysphonia)
  • Problems swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Muscle pain (roughly ½ of JDM sufferers)
  • Calcinosis (hardened lumps of calcium under the skin)
  • Contractures, in which muscles shorten and cause joints to stay bent.

JDM and Vaccines

It’s not clear what causes JDM. However, it is believed that some children are genetically predisposed to the disorder. Symptoms of the condition may appear when these children are exposed to one or more environmental triggers, such as an illness and even sunlight.

There is evidence that vaccines can trigger JDM in predisposed children. For example, the medical literature includes reports of dermatomyositis in children following the H1N1 vaccine, trivalent flu vaccine, and hepatitis B vaccination.

In October 2017, a special master of the Court of Federal Claims awarded compensation to the family of 4-year-old child who was diagnosed with JDM following his DTaP, MMR, polio, and chicken pox vaccinations. The special master found that one or more of these vaccines, in combination with the child’s genetic predisposition, resulted in an abnormal immunity response that triggered the condition.

Compensation for Vaccine-Related Dermatomyositis

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP) provides compensation to the victims of vaccine-related side effects and complications. To date, the program has paid more than $3.9 billion in claims.

To learn if your child could be eligible for compensation under the NVICP, please contact the nationwide law firm of Bernstein Liebhard LLP for a free, no-obligation case review by calling (888) 994-5118.

  1. Boston Children’s Hospital (N.D.) “Juvenile Dermatomyositis Symptoms & Causes”
  2. S. Court of Federal Claims (2017) “Case No. 13-253V”
  3. HRSA (2018) “National Vaccine Compensation Program”
Last Modified: July 6, 2018

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