Representing the Victims of IVC Filters
What Is an IVC Filter?
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are cage-like medical devices that are inserted into patients who have a high risk of pulmonary embolism but who are unable to take blood-thinning medications. These devices, also referred to as vena cava filters and blood clot filters, are small vascular filters that are implanted deep in the body within the IVC.
IVC filters are designed to catch blood clots before they enter the lungs. These filters catch a clot while also allowing blood to flow around the device—meaning the clot can break down naturally over time. There are two primary forms of IVC filters: permanent and retrievable. Choosing which type of filter will depend on several factors.
Complications That Can Result from IVC Placement
While there are many different brands of IVC filters, some have actually been linked to severe injury and death.
Some of the complications that can result from IVC placement are as follows:
- Filter breakage
- Migration of filter or parts
- Puncture of vital organs
When these implants fracture, the "legs" will break off and travel to different parts of the body. Since these legs are sharp and relatively small, they have been able to pass through the body and damage the heart and lungs.
Long-term risks of IVC filters include the following:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Filter fracture
- Filter migration
- Filter embolization
- IVC perforation / erosion / obstruction
- Cardiac tamponade
- Hemorrhagic pericardial effusion
- Air embolisms
- Filter clogged by blood clots
August 2010: FDA Issues Safety Communication
Unfortunately, IVC filters do not always work as promised—and they can often cause severe side effects. In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a Safety Communication regarding IVC filters. In this communication, they noted that they had received 921 device adverse event reports from these devices.
These adverse event reports included the following:
- Device Migration – 328 Reports
- Device Embolization – 146 Reports
- Perforation of the Inferior Vena Cava – 70 Reports
- Filter Fracture – 56 Reports
The FDA specifically commented on the concern that patients were receiving retrievable IVC filters that were not always being removed once the patient’s risk for pulmonary embolism had subsided. They have since advised physicians to remove the device as quickly as possible; all physicians should also carefully weigh the risks and benefits of the filters before implanting it, as well as the risks and benefits of removal.
C.R. Bard Retrievable IVC Filters
Some of the most common devices are manufactured by C.R. Bard, including the Recovery IVC Filter, G2 IVC Filter, G2 Express IVC Filter, and more. These devices have been linked to severe adverse side effects. For example, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2010 stated the Bard G2 IVC Filter has a 12% fracture rate, despite being marketed for “enhanced fracture resistance.”
Talk to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has had an IVC filter implanted and have suffered serious side effects as a result, you should not hesitate to get in touch with the skilled legal team from Arnold & Itkin LLP as soon as possible.
We have seen how these devices, which are designed to help, can cause severe harm for patients:
- They can move (which can cause them to be ineffective or damaging to internal organs).
- They can actually perforate the inferior vena cava or cause erosion to the vein.
- They can have parts break off into the bloodstream (sometimes even damaging the heart or lungs).
- In some cases, the physician may be unable to take out the IVC filter at all.
Take Action Today: (888) 493-1629 At Arnold & Itkin, we have recovered billions of dollars on behalf of our clients. We understand what you are going through, and we are here to help you through it. If you would like to learn more about whether or not you have a case, we encourage you to reach out today. Contact Us For a Free, Confidential Consult