IVC Filter Side Effects
Inferior vena cava filters, or IVC filters, are intended to protect individuals from blood clots in the lungs. Unfortunately, these filters have been reported to cause life-threatening injuries in some patients, primarily when pieces of the device break or when the device migrates to another part of the body.
FDA Warns of Serious Risk to Patients
Reports of adverse effects have been sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for years. Due to the numerous reports filed, the FDA issued a safety communication to patients regarding temporary, retrievable IVC filters. The FDA was concerned that the filters were not being removed once a patient no longer had the risk of developing a pulmonary embolism.
At the time of the FDA’s warning, over 900 adverse event reports had been sent to the FDA. 328 of these reports involved device migration and 146 involved broken pieces of the IVC traveling through the bloodstream. Another 70 reports involved the device perforating the inferior vena cava and 56 cased involved filter fractures.
These events may have been caused as a result of the devices remaining in a patient for long periods of time, even after the risk for pulmonary embolism had subsided. Four years after the initial communication, the FDA released another statement recommending filters be removed within 29 to 54 days of implantation, provided a patient was not at risk for blood clots.
IVC Filter Side Effects
When retrievable IVC filters are not removed from the body within a certain period of time, they may cause a number of side effects caused by complications.
There are hundreds of reports of side effects caused by IVC filters, including:
- 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)
- Severe chest pain
- Perforation of the inferior vena cava, heart or lungs
- Death (in rare cases)
Potential Safety Risks & Complications
While typically safe, IVC filters do pose a number of safety risks and complications when they are not removed within a certain period of time.
The side effects mentioned above are often caused by many complications, including:
- The filter could move or change position, becoming stuck in a place where it is not designed to be.
- The filter can erode or perforate into the inferior vena cava, damaging the vein. It can also protrude and damage other organs in the body.
- Pieces of the filter can break off and travel through the bloodstream, damaging the heart and lungs.
- The filter can become clogged with clots, blocking the flow of blood from the lower body into the heart.
- A doctor may be unable to retrieve the IVC filter.
- The IVC filter may damage one or several internal organs.
IVC Filter Lawsuits
If you or a loved one has been injured by an IVC filter, then you may be eligible for financial compensation for your injuries. Lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of IVC filters.
If you believe you may be eligible for an IVC filter lawsuit due to injury or death of a loved one, then it is important you contact us as soon as possible. We will help you navigate your legal options and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.