Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter Lawsuit

IVC filters were designed to prevent life-threatening blood clots in the lungs, known as pulmonary embolisms. Since 2005, however, hundreds of reports of severe IVC filter complications have been filed with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). These problems typically involve device migrations, filter fractures, perforation, embolization, and/or movement of the entire device or fragments to the heart and lungs.

What is an IVC filter?

An IVC filter is a small metal device placed inside the inferior vena cava that is designed to filter or “catch” blood clots that travel from the lower portions of the body to the heart and lungs.

Blood clots in the legs or pelvis can occasionally travel to the lungs, where they could cause a pulmonary embolism (PE) or blockage. The IVC filters help reduce the risk of this by trapping the large clots, preventing them from reaching the heart or lungs. To place them, an interventional radiologist uses image guidance. The filter was first manufactured in 1979 and has been inserted into over 260,000 patients.

Until recently, the IVC filter was only available as a permanently implanted device. However, new filters that have the option to be removed later on or remain permanent have developed. These retrievable filters should be removed as soon as possible after the risk of a clot traveling to the lungs has passed. This helps eliminate the long-term risks of a fracture or recurrent DVT.

Many of the major concerns with the IVC devices is regarding the retrievable ones. They have been noted to cause damage to the veins and also are less efficient at stopping blood clots. They are intended for short-term use, and the concern comes when they stay inside the patients for too long. The FDA recommends that they are removed between the 29th and the 54th day after they are implanted.

Common Complications Include

There are many risks associated with the use of an IVC filter including:

  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Heart rhythm problems
  • Hypotension
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Neck pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hemorrhaging or internal bleeding

However, recently IVC filters have been linked to more severe, potentially deadly injuries, including:

  • Hemorrhage
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Stroke
  • Device Migration

If you or a loved one has suffered serious side effects caused by IVC filters, contact our lawyers today.

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