The experienced attorneys of the IVC Filter Lawsuit Center are evaluating potential lawsuits for individuals who had an Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filter implanted and suffered complications. IVC filters have been known to migrate, fracture or become irretrievable, resulting in side effects ranging from perforating the lung or heart to deep vein thrombosis.
If you or a loved one has suffered injury as a result of an IVC filter, legal help is available. Submit your details through our secure online form to receive a complementary case evaluation. One of our experienced legal team members will evaluate the facts of your case and help determine your best course of legal action.
What is an IVC Filter?
IVC filters, or blood clot filters, are small devices designed to catch blood clots. The spider-like wire filters are implanted in patients who are at risk for a pulmonary embolism, when they are unable to take anticoagulants or when those medications have failed.
FDA Warns of Adverse Effects
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started receiving reports of complications associated with IVC filters as far back as 2010. Specifically, patients who had retrievable filters began to suffer from punctured organs, blood vessels and other complications due to filter fracture.
The FDA received reports of:
- 70 filter perforations
- 328 device migrations
- 56 filter fractures
- 146 embolisms
Despite this risk, hundreds of patients across the country have had these devices implanted. In 2014, the FDA updated their safety communication, stating devices should be removed between the 29th and 54th day after implantation due to continued reports of adverse effects.
Scientific Study Finds Dangerous Safety Risks
In November 2010, the Archives of Internal Medicine published a study conducted by Dr. William Nicholson and his colleagues at York Hospital in Pennsylvania. In the study, 189 patients who received a temporary Bard recovery or a Bard G2 IVC filter were evaluated.
According to the study, there were 35 patient deaths during the study and many patients experienced other severe complications. 16% of patients had at least one strut fracture, of which 25% of those had traveled into the bloodstream.
In five instances, pieces of the IVC filter traveled to the heart, causing three victims to have three-life threatening changes in heart rhythm or fluid accumulation in the heart. One patient died suddenly at home as a result.
Report Claims C.R. Bard Knew of Safety Risks
After C.R. Bard received complaints of device malfunctions, the company hired independent consultant Dr. John Lehmann to prepare a report comparing fracture and migration rates of new models to previous models in 2004.
In 2004, Dr. Lehmann released the Lehmann report, which found the Bard recovery filter had a higher rate of complications than its competitors. Lehmann indicated that an additional investigation was needed.
Despite Lehmann’s report, C.R. Bard did nothing to inform the public of the enhanced risk of the Recovery IVC filter. Internal documents leaked by Bard’s own lawyers found that the Lehmann report was given to employees on a need-to-know basis and that the company had intended on keeping the report a secret.
IVC Filter Side Effects
While typically safe, IVC filters do pose a number of side effects when they are not removed within prescribed time frame as recommended by the FDA.
Potential injuries from IVC filters include:
- Perforation of the heart
- Perforation of the lungs
- Hemorrhagic pericardial effusion (blood around the heart)
- Cardiac tamponade (disruption of the heart caused by excess fluid)
- Ventricular tachycardia (accelerated heart beat)
- Puncturing of the vena cava
Filing an IVC Filter Lawsuit
If you or a loved one has been injured by an IVC filter, now is the time to file a lawsuit. Complete our case evaluation form to receive a free, no-obligation evaluation of your case. Our dedicated legal team will fight for you to receive fair representation and compensation for your injuries. We take each case seriously and are determined to do whatever is necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.