A vein filter, also referred to as an IVC or inferior vena cava filter, is a device that may be recommended to patients who are at risk of serious blood clots that could travel to the lungs and the heart.
A vein filter is a device that is placed inside the inferior vena cava, which is a vein in the human body that moves your blood away from the body’s lower portion to your heart.
Unfortunately, blood clots that form in the pelvis and the legs may travel to the lungs, ultimately causing a blockage or a pulmonary embolism. The developers of the vein filter technology believed that these devices would be critical in helping to prevent life-threatening events.
A vein filter is often used for those patients who cannot be given conventional medical therapy like blood thinners or who do not respond to it.
The placement of a vein filter is also designed to prevent deep vein thrombosis. Blood clots may break up or large pieces of clot pieces will move to the lungs and can become a life-threatening event.
The vein filter is a metal device that prevents them from going to those locations where severe complications could result.
In the past, these were only available as devices that were implanted permanently, however, there are newer filters referred to as optionally retrievable, which can be left inside permanently or may be removed from the patient’s blood vessel at a later point in time.
The removal of an IVC filter takes away any risk of recurrent deep vein thrombosis or filter fracture but the underlying cause of deep vein thrombosis is not addressed.
A physician may determine after a vein filter has been removed that a blood thinner may be the appropriate treatment for the patient.
Those patients who are most likely to receive a vein filter include those who are trauma victims, those who receive a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis, those with mobility issues and those who have pulmonary embolus.
The blood of the patient will be tested prior to the implantation of a vein filter to identify how well the patient’s kidneys are functioning and whether the blood already clots normally.
It is important for someone who may be receiving a vein filter to share with their doctor all medications and herbal supplements they are currently using.
The vein filter is implanted into the patient’s body using a catheter that is put inside a vein in the upper leg or the neck.
Contrast material is then injected into the vein to determine the appropriate position of the vein filter and then it is put into the vein.
The interventional radiologist then releases the filter, allowing it to expand and attach to the blood vessel walls. A special catheter may also be required in order to remove an IVC filter.
If you believe that you have been hurt because of a vein filter, you may have grounds to participate in a lawsuit. Schedule a free consultation with the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley today.