Patients with a history of blood clots may have an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter placed within their body. These filters are designed to catch blood clots and potential blood clots that could travel from the lower extremities to the heart or lungs. If such a blood clot reaches the heart or lungs, it could cause a deadly injury. Despite being designed to help catch blood clots, these devices have been known to fail.
If you or a loved one have suffered any type of injury or even death as the result of a defective IVC filter, call the IVC filter lawsuit attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Fortas today at (770) 626-7847 for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. We do not believe that anyone should have to suffer physically, emotionally or financially through no fault of their own. We have helped recover compensation for our clients, and we can do the same for you.
The Use of IVC Filters
These tiny devices made of wire are used when medications don’t work. Typically, a doctor will prescribe an anticoagulant like Xarelto first. When the medication a doctor chooses fails to work for the patient, or the patient is unable to take the necessary medication, the doctor may choose to implant an IVC filter.
When implanted, the IVC filter is placed in the inferior vena cava, just below the kidneys. This is the largest blood vessel in the body. When a blood clot is caught in the IVC filter, it is naturally broken down by anticoagulant elements in blood. The blood then flows normally throughout the body. That, in essence, is how the filters are designed to work.
Unfortunately, there have been few studies conducted over the long-term with regards to the efficacy and safety of these filters that are implanted in approximately 250,000 patients each year. Even when the filters work properly, patients have still been known to suffer pulmonary embolisms. Patients also maintain a higher risk of deep vein thrombosis.
There have been hundreds of complaints filed with the FDA because of a lack of efficacy. The FDA has issued several recalls for different brands of IVC filters after reviewing these complaints.
How IVC Filters Can Be Dangerous
IVC filters have a tendency to migrate from their original location of implantation. This is one of the biggest risks associated with the filters. Despite being designed to hook into the vein and remain in place, the hook can fail and the filter may tip or migrate. Filters that migrate can cause damage as they move. The type of damage caused includes perforation of other veins and organs.
The filters have also been known to fracture. When this occurs, pieces of the filter may travel through the body. If a small piece enters the heart, lungs or brain, the results can be fatal. When a person survives this type of complication, they are often left with serious injury.
Because of these complications and dangers, several manufacturers have designed filters that are removable. Once the patient has been medically cleared, these filters can be removed from the body. This is not without risk. Complications can arise during the removal process. There are several reasons why the removal of one of these filters goes wrong:
- A filter in an abnormal position
- A filter too deeply embedded in the IVC vein
- A filter protruding through a blood vessel
- A blood clot located inside the filter
The complications that are associated with the removal of IVC filters stops doctors from removing them. It is only about a third of filters that are actually removed, despite the dangers of leaving them in place. Specifically, there is a 40 percent chance that the filter will fracture after five years. The FDA has warned that leaving IVC filters in longer than absolutely necessary should be avoided.
It was reported by NBC Nightly News that there have been hundreds of injuries and multiple deaths associated with Bard’s filters. Despite this, the company continued to sell them, putting hundreds of thousands of patients at risk.
If you believe that your IVC filter has caused injury or that your doctor left the filter implanted longer than necessary, you may have the legal grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. It is important that you reach out to an attorney as soon as possible.
Talk to an IVC FIlter Lawsuit Attorney Today
There are class action lawsuits against C.R. Bard being filed. There have also been lawsuits filed against Cook Medical. If you have sustained injury due to an IVC filter, you could file a lawsuit of your own or possibly be included in a class action suit. Call the IVC filter lawsuit attorneys at Hawkins Spizman Fortas today. We will review your case and advise you of your legal options. Let us fight for the compensation you deserve. Call today at (770) 626-7847 or contact us online for a free consultation.