The IVC (inferior vena cava) filter is a spider-like medical device used to filter blood clots and prevent them from reaching a patient’s lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism, which could mean permanent lung damage or even death.
Despite the advantages of IVC filters, they have also proven to cause serious complications:
- In August 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning stating that the agency had received 921 adverse event reports concerning IVC filters. The FDA has subsequently concluded that the risk of injury may outweigh any potential benefits of implanting IVC filters, and advised physicians to remove the filters as soon as the danger of blood clots has passed.
- A 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) questioned the effectiveness of IVC filters and reported that less than 10 percent of the filters studied were successfully removed and eight percent of IVC filter patients suffered a pulmonary embolism while the device was implanted.
IVC Filter Lawsuits
Numerous lawsuits have also been filed against the major IVC filter manufacturers, C.R. Bard and Cook Group, Inc., alleging severe and debilitating conditions associated with the retrievable blood clot filters, including:
- Bleeding from the puncture site when the filter is placed within the vein.
- Failure of the device to catch all the blood clots leading to a pulmonary embolism.
- Complete blockage of a vein due to too much clot being trapped within the filter.
- IVC filter migration.
- Device malfunctions, such as struts or legs of the filter breaking loose and travelling to other parts of the body, causing serious injury.
- Aortic penetration, ureteral perforation, and duodenal penetration by filter struts.
- Retrieval complications including large clot burden and wall apposition preventing or making retrieval difficult.
Patients with a failing or defective IVC filter may experience chest pain or shortness of breath, and since these symptoms are not typical, they should immediately consult with their doctor or the emergency room for an evaluation or treatment.
Device manufacturers’ first responsibility is to the safety of the people using their product – it is up to them to ensure that a medical device is fit for use by the public.
When you’ve been harmed by a medical device, you need legal advice from attorneys who have experience standing up to negligent manufacturers and know how to hold them accountable for their products. We pursue nothing less than full compensation for your injuries, and that includes everything – medical expenses, physical rehabilitation, lost wages and pain and suffering.
A partner with Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC,, Brandon Smith has devoted his practice to pharmaceutical litigation, mass torts, products liability and serious personal injury. A frequent guest speaker at legal seminars all over the country—Brandon is focused on helping injured victims nationwide, however possible. Named a SuperLawyer in 2017, he has also been called out as one of 10 Best Attorneys For Georgia by the American Institute Of Personal Injury Attorneys.