DEFECTIVE IVC FILTERS
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IVC Filter Lawsuit Attorneys
What Is an IVC Filter?
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are implants placed in the major vessel transferring blood from the legs to the heart. They are designed to catch blood clots before they enter the lungs, catching the clot while also allowing blood to flow around the device—meaning the clot can break down over time. IVC implants were once used to treat patients who were at risk for pulmonary embolisms and either could not take anti-coagulants or were not affected by them. They were designed to be permanent, but some were also designed to have the option for removal.
The effectiveness of IVC filters was impressive.
For a time, IVC implants were an alternative to medication; however, it did not remain so. Patients reported problems with the filters—problems that could cause major injury or death.
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:
- Fracturing of the filter
- Perforating the vessel walls
- Embolization of filter pieces
- Difficulty removing the filter
- Migration (movement of the filter)
- 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.
Embolization of the filter pieces is particularly horrifying, as the filter itself would be pumped into the heart, causing untold amounts of internal damage. In 2010, the FDA began recommending that all patients who had an IVC filter get them removed if their health permitted.
Long-term risks of IVC filters include the following:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- 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 FDA released a Safety Communication. 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
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.
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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.
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