IVC Filter Injuries and Lawsuits
As the largest vein in the human body, the inferior vena cava is responsible for carrying deoxygenated blood from the lower extremities to the heart. Yet, when individuals are recovering from accidents or surgery and cannot take an anticoagulant drug to prevent blood clotting, a filter is often inserted into the vein to capture blood clots before they reach the lungs (pulmonary embolism) or heart. Originally approved in 1979 by the FDA, the Inferior Vena Cava Filter, or IVC Filter, can be retrievable or permanent. Unfortunately, there are increasing reports of serious injuries related to IVC filters, resulting in multiple lawsuits against manufacturers defective medical devices.
Injuries from IVC Filters are classified as procedural, delayed or retrieval. In other words, complications may arise during insertion of the filter, causing bleeding or bruising or even blood vessel puncture. The filter also may be placed incorrectly. In cases where doctors remove the filter, large clots and heavy scarring have prevented its removal. Even so, other injuries are noted while the filter is in the body, including filter fracture or breakage, migration of the filter, infection and perforated organs. In extreme instances, patients have suffered from IVC filter embolization, where debris from a broken filter travels through the blood and becomes lodged in organs. Without question, this can result in death.
If you or someone you love has been injured or has died due to complications from an IVC Filter, you need to know your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation. The personal injury and defective device lawyers at the Harman Law Firm represent individuals all across the U.S. who have become victims of physical or financial injury. We level the playing field, fighting for justice in each case.
For a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your IVC Filter injury, call the Harman Law Firm today.
Potential Risks Associated With IVC Filters
For patients that are involved in traumatic accidents, or who have just had a baby or receiving cancer treatment, an IVC (Inferior Vena Cava) Filter is sometimes placed in the inferior vena cava vein as a way to prevent potentially fatal blood clots from reaching organs in the upper part of the body. While these filters are placed with the best intentions, there are risks associated with both retrievable and implanted or permanent filters. Most notably, retrievable filters are linked to damaging veins and failure to capture blood clots. For filters that are permanent, parts of the device may break apart and travel to other parts of the body, potentially damaging organs.
The FDA issued a safety alert in 2010 after a number of reports surfaced regarding retrievable filters between 2005-2010. Complications include:
- Device migration (when the filter moves from its intended location and becomes ineffective)
- Fracture of the filter
- Device embolization (when parts of the device detach)
Aside from these complications, there are growing concerns about how long IVC Filters should remain in place. In retrievable filters, many attempts to remove them have failed. In essence, the longer the filter remains, the more difficult it is to remove safely.
If you or someone you love has received an IVC Filter and suffered serious complications or death as a result, you deserve to know your options going forward. The personal injury and defective medical device attorneys at the Harman Law Firm are here to help. While the FDA has issued warnings concerning IVC Filters, we understand that many have been injured prior to these warnings and may be experiencing physical, financial and emotional trauma as a result.
Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your injuries. You deserve justice in your case.