Study: IVC Filters Have Limited Success for Treating Pulmonary Embolism
Patients who had IVC filters implanted to treat pulmonary embolism may suffer serious side effects and discover that the device has limited utility, according to a new study. While IVC filters were marketed as one way to prevent pulmonary embolism, many adverse event reports including fracture and migration were recorded.
Many patients have come forward to report problems and pain with IVC filters following implantation. The small devices are designed to treat a number of medical conditions, including pulmonary embolism. The primary purpose of the IVC filter, however, is to stop blood clots from entering the heart or lungs.
A new study, however, shows that IVC filters are not as effective as claimed, offering limited benefits for patients. The study was recently published in JAMA Surgery and identified that the use of IVC filters has decreased in recent years. The study researchers found that the declining use of the filters was not connected with any changes in the number of people suffering from pulmonary embolism.
How IVC Filters Work
IVC filters are designed to work by placing them in the vena cava to capture blood clots before they enter the heart or lungs and generate a life-threatening event. Severe side effects, however, have been reported by thousands of patients. Many of these patients believe they were never fully warned about the risks of the IVC filters. Cook Medical, C.R. Bard, and other manufacturers have all received complaints about their IVC filters.
The filters were supposed to be removed after the risk of pulmonary embolism or a blood clot passed, but many patients discovered that the filters failed. Some of the most common problems reported by patients include puncturing veins, fracturing, and the device moving out of position into a dangerous location.
One of the studies that looked at the dangers of IVC filters used the experiences of more than 460,000 patients. Partly due to the dangers of IVC filters reported by patients, IVC filter use has declined in recent years. That study found that despite a clear decrease in use of IVC filters that the rate of pulmonary embolism was mostly unchanged. For that reason, the study researchers concluded that these devices may have limited utility for patients and that doctors should carefully evaluate on an individual basis who may be most appropriate for these filters.
In 2014, the FDA revised their guidelines for IVC filters to recommend that IVC filters be removed no later than two months after a patient was no longer at risk for pulmonary embolism.
According to numerous IVC filter lawsuits, patients and doctors were never told about the risk of leaving the filters in place for a long period of time.
More than 1,800 lawsuits are currently pending against one IVC filter manufacturer, C.R. Bard. A number of cases are being prepared for the early stages of litigation following their consolidation.
Many of these are known as bellwether cases because their outcome may influence future IVC filter lawsuits.
If you think you have grounds for an IVC filter lawsuit, contact the lawyers at McDonald Worley today.