IVC Filter Retrieval Concerns Highlighted in Study
In addition to the host of other problems presented by IVC filters, a study found that failed retrieval of the device is more likely to happen the longer the placement. According to the study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, the longer an IVC filter is in a patient, the harder it is to retrieve the device. This presents an increased risk of severe injury in patients who experience failed IVC filter retrieval.
Inferior vena cava filters were developed to reduce the risk of stroke and pulmonary embolism by preventing blood clots from traveling to major organs in the body; however, retrievable IVC filters have been shown to present risks.
IVC filters have been associated with the following concerns:
If any of these situations occur, the patient could be at risk for serious medical complications or even death if a piece of the IVC filter migrates to the heart, lungs, or brain.
In fact, in response to reports, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in 2014 about the need to retrieve removable IVC filters within two months after a patient is beyond the risk of blood clots. A study now finds that the longer the device is in place, the higher the chance of a failed IVC filter retrieval.
According to the study, devices left in patients for more than seven months had a high failed IVC filter retrieval rate – nearly 41 percent. The number is troubling compared with the overall failed IVC filter retrieval rate of just 18 percent.
The researchers point out that failed IVC filter retrieval increases the risk of serious medical complications.
Shockingly, the IVC filter retrieval rate nationwide is only 8.5 percent according to other reports. Patients report that they are told continued placement of the medical device is not a problem. Others are not told that their IVC filter retrieval failed.
Researchers recommend retrieval as soon as possible. Alternatively, in patients with IVC filters for more than seven months, the researchers say that a center with expertise in IVC filter removal should be used.
“The necessity of advanced techniques to maintain technical success of retrieval increases with dwell time,” the researchers stated in their study. “Patients with retrievable inferior vena cava filters in place beyond 7 months may benefit from referral to centers with expertise in advanced filter retrieval.”
While permanent IVC filters have been in use for decades, the development and use of retrievable IVC filters is relatively recent. Retrievable IVC filters were developed to prevent pulmonary emboli; however, patients, doctors, and now a number of lawsuits allege that the filters were discovered to be prone to tilting and/or penetrating the surrounding tissue. They have also been known to break and pieces can migrate to the heart, lungs or even the brain.
If you or a loved one has experienced a failed IVC filter retrieval, please contact an experienced McDonald Worley attorney to evaluate your claim.