A large number of Bard IVC filter lawsuits are expected to be filed within the next few months, each alleging that individuals suffered severe intestinal damage when the IVC filter implants fractured and migrated inside their bodies.
C.R. Bard has been unsuccessful in its efforts to settle a number of unfiled cases and as a result, a request has been made to the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) to centralize the pretrial proceedings for the cases. If the request is granted, all Bard IVC Filter complaints filed in U.S. District Federal Courts across the country will likely be transferred to one judge, reducing duplicative discovery and making the proceedings more convenient for the parties, witnesses, and courts.
What are IVC Filters?
IVC Filters, also known as Inferior Vena Cava Filters, are small devices resembling spiders that are implanted into the vena cava to filter, or catch, blood clots that have broken free, preventing them from reaching the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism. Unfortunately, doctors can only successfully remove fractured legs of the device in about half of cases. The FDA has also warned that recoverable IVC filters that are left in a patient have a high risk of severe, life-threatening injuries.
Problems in the design of several types of filters have been connected to reports of the struts or legs breaking or fracturing and causing severe internal injuries, such as:
- Puncture of internal organs, veins, and arteries due to fracture and migration
- Ventricular Tachycardia, or an increased heart rate
- Hemorrhagic Pericardial Effusion, or hemorrhaging around the heart
- Disruption of the heart rhythm
Since the introduction of the IVC filter in 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received approximately 1000 adverse reports concerning them. Many of the reports allege that the IVC filters fragment and embolize within the body. Based on our information and intel, we think the incident numbers of fracture and migration are much higher and have affected over of 15,000 patients around the country.
Reports, as well as research conducted on these devices, has prompted the FDA to urge physicians who prescribe IVC filters to their patients to:
- Consider the risks and benefits for individual patients instead of merely choosing the filter for all patients for are not candidates for anticoagulation surgery.
- Remove the device once protection from pulmonary embolism is no longer necessary.
Bard attempted to modify the design and correct the defect in their Recovery IVC filter after reports that the radial arms and struts of the device had broken off inside patients’ bodies in 2005. Since that time, the redesigned filter has been implanted in more than 65,000 patients. But despite the redesign, a 2010 study has shown that 12 percent of the patients who had been implanted with the new filter still experienced fractures. Some Plaintiff experts believe that percentage of complications is much higher and should have been disclosed to patients and physicians.
At Childers, Schlueter & Smith we continue to investigate new Bard IVC filter claims resulting in fracture and migration from all 50 states. The resulting intestinal damage that often occurs is alarming and should be evaluated as soon as possible. If you have had complications from a Bard IVC filter call our office today for a free evaluation and review.