IVC Filter Complications
While Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters are meant to protect individuals from blood clots and pulmonary embolisms, these same filters have come under increased scrutiny due to the risks of fracture and failure. Several lawsuits have been filed against C.R. Bard and Cook Medical on behalf of individuals who have suffered from IVC filter complications, or on behalf of loved ones who have passed away.
What are IVC Filters?
IVC filters are small, cage-like devices inserted directly into the inferior vena cava to capture blood clots, preventing them from reaching the lungs. The inferior vena cava is the main blood vessel returning blood from the lower half of the body to the heart.
IVC filters are commonly placed in patients at risk for a pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs) when anticoagulant medications cannot be used or are ineffective.
While many IVC filters are meant to be permanent implants, many IVC filters are retrievable and can be removed once the risk for pulmonary embolism is mitigated.
FDA Warns of Adverse Effects
After receiving over 900 adverse event reports, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an initial safety commission warning the public that temporary, retrievable IVC filters could pose a health risk when not removed.
Despite the warning issued by the FDA, continued adverse event reports were sent, prompting the FDA to release another statement that recommended retrieving IVC filters within 29 to 54 days as long as a patient was not at risk for a pulmonary embolism.
IVC Filter Complications
Retrievable IVC filters are now known to have several safety risks & complications.
These complications include the following:
- The filter could move or change position, and become stuck in an area of the body where it is not designed to be. This could render the device ineffective or damage internal organs.
- The filter could erode into the inferior vena cava causing potentially severe damage to this vein. It could also protrude and harm internal organs.
- Parts of the filter may break off, travel through the bloodstream and cause considerable damage to the heart and lungs.
- The filter may become clogged with blood clots which can block blood flow to the lower half of the body.
- A doctor may be unable to retrieve the IVC filter due to the migration of the filter.
These complications can lead to various side effects including:
- Chest pain
- Perforation of the inferior vena cava, heart and lungs
- Filter embolization
- Lower-limb Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
- Hemorrhagic pericardial effusion (excess fluid around the heart)
- Cardiac Tamponade (compression of the heart caused by excess fluid around the heart)
Do You Qualify for an IVC Filter Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one has suffered complications from an IVC filter, then you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Lawsuits have already been filed on behalf of those affected by IVC Filters. It is important to act quickly and speak to our legal team to discuss your legal options.