Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters, also known as blood clot filters, are designed to be implemented in patients who are at risk of pulmonary embolism. These small, metal devices look somewhat like wire baskets, and are implanted in the Inferior Vena Cava vein to prevent blood clots from traveling to the heart, lungs, or brain. The IVC filter’s purpose is to catch these blood clots and allow them the opportunity to break up before they can do any serious damage.
Despite the good they are meant to do, these devices have been shown to be imperfect. The United States Food and Drug Administration have received hundreds of reports of complications arising from the implementation of IVC filters. Based on these reports, the FDA warned doctors in 2010 about the risks of IVC filters and recommended that they be removed once patients were no longer at risk for blood clots. In 2014 the FDA updated this recommendation, stating that IVC filters should be removed between the 29th and 54th day after implantation.
The complications that arise from the failure of an IVC filter are severe and can cause serious harm and even death. By far, the most common issue that has been reported is instances of the IVC filter or part of the filter breaking off and traveling through the individual’s body. These fragments are transported by the blood stream and can work their way through the walls of the patient’s vein and become imbedded in their internal organs. Additional reports have also claimed that the IVC filter failed to protect against blood clots and that, in some cases, clots even formed at the insertion location.
Manufacturers and products associated with faulty filters include, but may not be limited to:
- R. Bard’s Recovery filter
- R. Bard’s G2 filter
- R. Bard’s G2 Express filter
- Cook Medical’s Gunther Tulip filter
- Cook Medical’s Celect filter
So far, IVC filters have been confirmed to be linked to at least 300 injuries and 30 deaths. If you have had an IVC filter implanted to prevent blood clots, and have experienced any of the following symptoms, talk to your doctor to find out if you could be suffering the effects of a broken filter:
- Dizziness or a lightheaded feeling
- Chest pains
- Confusion or disorientation
- Heart palpitations or your heart skipping beats
- Difficulty breathing
- Internal bleeding
Though there has been no official recall of these IVC filters by the FDA, further research is being conducted that looks into the potential risks of these devices. As the medical industry and patients alike gain more knowledge on the subject, more and more lawsuits are starting to appear that challenge the manufacturers of these dangerous products.
If you or a loved one has an IVC filter, call DeMayo Law Offices, L.L.P. and we can help evaluate your situation. The time to learn about your options is now. Call our toll free number at 877-333-1000 or contact us by email at [email protected].