Over the past half-decade, the medical device product liability attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. have been researching the adverse effects of retrievable IVC filters. As the epidemic exponentially grew, our firm has discussed potential lawsuits against the manufacturers of these filters. After NBC News's 2015 two-part series documenting the growing problems IVC filter patients have been experiencing, we began focusing great attention on clients who suffered injuries because of the filters.
WHAT IS AN INFERIOR VENA CAVA (IVC) BLOOD CLOT FILTER?
The Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) is a major vein that carries blood from the lower body into the heart. An IVC filter is a spider-like wire device inserted into this vein in patients who are at high risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolism. The IVC filter's purpose is to prevent blood clots from entering the heart, lungs or brain by catching the clots in the bloodstream and allowing them to break down over time.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS AND RISK ASSOCIATED WITH IVC FILTERS?
In the beginning stages of IVC filter manufacturing, more than thirty-five years ago, the devices were built to be permanent. Recently, however, IVC filters have been developed to be removed once the risk of clotting stops. Unfortunately, because of insufficient warnings provided by IVC filter manufacturers like Bard and Cook Gunther, the devices often remain inside of patients longer than necessary, thus increasing the risk of serious injuries.
IVC filter products are known to have several risks including:
- Fractures of the metal device
- Migration of the metal device
- Puncturing of other organs
There have been reports of the IVC blood clot filter falling out of place or breaking apart. The metal device, or pieces from it, can then move through the blood, working their way through a vein wall and damaging an internal organ. There are also reports of blood clots occurring at the location where the device was inserted – the same clotting that the device is supposed to prevent.
Despite various medical journals written by expert physicians discussing the problems caused by these filter, the marketing, manufacturing, and prescription of them has continued.
FDA Safety Alert http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm221676.htm
FDA Safety Alert Update http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/Safety/AlertsandNotices/ucm396377.htm
NBC News Investigates https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY9ND7zDaeE
If you have questions about retrievable IVC filter devices, or believe that you or a loved has suffered serious injury due to a faulty IVC filter, please contact the Pennsylvania medical device product liability attorneys at Dallas W. Hartman, P.C. today for a free preliminary consultation at 800-777-4081.