Embedded IVC Filter Is Subject of Recent Lawsuit

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Many patients who are not candidates for blood thinning medications opt to have a temporary inferior vena cava (IVC) filter implanted to aid with blood clots. IVC filters are meant to be removed when the risk for blood clots is over, but some embedded IVC filters are almost impossible to remove. This can be very risky for the health of patients.

In fact, recently a lawsuit has been filed against the makers of an Ohio man’s IVC filter. He filed this embedded IVC filter lawsuit against Argon Medical Devices and Rex Medical claiming that his IVC filter was unable to be retrieved because it had tilted and become embedded in the wall of his vena cava.

Plaintiff Russell W. was implanted with an Option Elite Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filter on Jan. 3, 2014. About 18 months later, in June 2015, the surgeon who attempted to remove the IVC filter discovered that it had shifted and embedded itself in the vein wall.

Russell’s embedded IVC filter now cannot be removed, and because of this, Russell has suffered serious injuries.

According to his embedded IVC filter lawsuit, this condition has put him at risk for a host of dangerous complications. One potential complication of an embedded IVC filter is “the potential for the filter to become occluded with blood clots thereby disrupting the normal flow of blood to the heart and lungs.” Another potential complication of an embedded IVC filter is the constant risk of the perforation of the vena cava itself, surrounding organs, and even the spinal column.

Additionally, according to this embedded IVC filter lawsuit, an “embedded filter also poses an increased and continual risk of fracturing, including the risk that fractured portions will travel to the plaintiff’s lungs or heart with the possibility of causing immediate death or serious injury.”  

Russell’s particular IVC filter, the Option Elite, is a newer device and was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through a fast track approval 510(k) approval process. This means that the medical device is approved given that it is similar to other devices that have already been approved by the FDA.

IVC filters have been used for many years to help patients who cannot tolerate blood thinning medications but who also run the risk for developing life threatening clots.

But by 2010, the FDA had already begun to receive nearly 1,000 adverse event reports about IVC filters regarding device fracture, device migration, and the perforation of the vena cava wall. By 2014, the FDA advised that doctors only allow IVC filters to remain in a patient for between one to two months, or until the threat of a clot had passed.

In essence, at the earliest possible point, the device should be removed. However, with the case of an embedded IVC filter, that often cannot happen. There are now new techniques that specialists can employ to remove an embedded IVC filter.

This Embedded IVC Filter Lawsuit is Case No. 4:17-cv-00415 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

If you or a loved one have suffered from an embedded IVC filter, you have legal recourse. Contact the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley today for a FREE case evaluation.