Inferior vena cava filters are medical devices that may be implanted in patients who are at risk of developing potentially life-threatening blood clots. IVC filters are especially popular for use in patients who cannot take blood-thinning medication, or who continue to have blood clotting issues while taking blood thinners. Serious complications have been linked to IVC filters, causing them to migrate, puncture organs and cause chest pain, shortness of breath and sometimes death. If you suffered IVC filter complications, contact an attorney, you may have a legal claim..
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What is an IVC Filter?
A vena cava filter is a small metal device that is implanted into the inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries blood from the lower body to the heart, to prevent blood clots from traveling into the heart and lungs. When a blood clot reaches the heart or lungs, it can cause severe complications such as pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, stroke, or other serious problems.
These spider-shaped devices are designed to trap fragments of blood clots that develop in the body, thereby reducing the risk of serious blood-clot related health issues. Some blood clot filters are designed to be permanently implanted while others are retrievable and designed to be removed after a period of time.
Some of the most common types of blood clot filters include:
- Bard G2 Express filter
- Bard G2 filter
- Bard Recovery filter
- Boston Scientific Greenfield filter
- Cook Celect filter
- Cook Gunther Tulip filter
When is a Blood Clot Filter Recommended?
Deep vein thrombosis is a type of blood clot that develops deep inside the pelvis and the body’s extremities. DVT is generally not life-threatening, but if the blood clot travels to the lungs, it can produce a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.
Pulmonary embolism is reportedly the third most common cause of death in hospital patients. Patients at risk of DVT or pulmonary embolism may be given an anticoagulant medication to prevent blood clots from forming. However, these types of medications may not be suitable for all patients.
A physician may recommend a filter to prevent blood clots for patients who cannot tolerate anticoagulant medications or who may be at risk of excessive bleeding. Blood clot filters may also be used in patients at elevated risk of blood clots due to serious trauma or following surgery.
Doctors may recommend an IVC filter for patients with the following conditions:
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Cancer Treatment
- Gunshot Injuries
- Car Accident Injuries
- Surgery Patients
- Patients Who Are Immobile
- Dialysis Treatment
FDA Warns of IVC Filter Risks
Although the blood clot filter is effective at preventing blood clots from traveling to the heart and lungs, the IVC filter may pose some serious risks of its own.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has reportedly received hundreds of reports of IVC filter problems, including:
- Filter migration
- Punctured organs
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
In 2010, the FDA issued a warning about IVC filter risks and urged patients to undergo vena cava filter removal as soon as their blood clot conditions subside. The FDA updated its warning in 2014 and urged patients to undergo vena cava filter removal within a certain time period after implantation. Usually, the recommended time period for IVC filter removal was one to two months after the device was implanted.
IVC Filter Litigation
Unfortunately, the FDA’s blood clot filter warning was too late for some people who suffered complications from the IVC filter. These IVC filter complications have prompted some affected patients to file an IVC filter lawsuit alleging the filter to prevent blood clots caused them to suffer injuries.
IVC filter litigation may involve allegations against the device manufacturers for claims such as design defects, manufacturing defects, breach of implied warranty, negligent misrepresentation, failure to warn of the known IVC filter risks, and/or wrongful death.
How do I know if I’m Eligible to File an IVC Filter Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a blood clot filter, you may have a legal claim. Contact the product liability attorneys at McDonald Worley for a free case evaluation.
Our attorneys are experienced at investigating claims against IVC filter manufacturers and will help you determine whether filing an IVC filter lawsuit is right for you. IVC filter litigation allows the injured parties to seek compensation for their injuries.