Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters are implanted in patients who are at risk of blood clots traveling into vital organs like the heart and lungs and blocking pulmonary arteries. When this happens, patients may develop a condition called pulmonary embolism, which can cause serious health problems. The filters, designed in spider-like, wiry shapes, prevent them from entering the heart and lungs.
In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration recommended that IVC filters only be used temporarily, based on medical reports that suggested the devices were prone to detach or fracture inside a patient’s body. Many people were unaware of the dangers of IVC filters and suffered serious harm as a result of the device malfunctioning.
If you or a loved one has suffered serious complications from an IVC filter, you should speak with an attorney. The legal team at Childers, Schlueter & Smith has extensive experience with medical device cases, and can advise you on legal options and how to move forward with a lawsuit.
Our case consultations are free and without obligation. Call today at (800) 641-0098 or fill out the form on this page to get in contact with one of our attorneys and learn more.
Evidence of Harm
When an IVC filter is placed in a patient, it blocks any blood clot that has formed in the veins from entering the heart or lungs. Unfortunately, a fracture or detachment of the filter itself can cause just as much — or more — harm than the blood clots themselves – and studies have confirmed that these occurrences are not uncommon.
The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine has calculated that 40% of all IVC filters will fracture within 5.5 years. Meanwhile, a New England Society for Vascular Surgery study found that 31% of IVC filter fractures were prone to fracture, and in 2010 the FDA found 146 instances of IVC filter particles detaching and causing complications.
The evidence that IVC filters present a danger to users is clear, as is the need for manufacturers’ to exercise more caution when designing them. When they don’t, innocent people pay the price – and our attorneys are here to make sure the manufacturers do too.
IVC Filter Risks
When IVC filters fracture or detach, they present a number of risks to patients. Some of these risks include:
- Detached particles lodging in blood vessels and restricting blood flow
- Detached particles puncturing internal organs
- Detached particles traveling into the brain, causing stroke, or the heart, causing heart attack
- Filters shifting position over time and no longer obstructing blood clots
The FDA recommends that if patients use an IVC filter, the device be left in only until the risk of pulmonary embolism subsides, at which point the filter should be removed to minimize risk to the patient.
Contact Childers, Schlueter & Smith Today
Device manufacturers’ first responsibility is to the safety of the people using their product – it is up to them to ensure that a medical device is fit for use by the public.
When you’ve been harmed by a medical device, you need legal advice from attorneys who have experience standing up to negligent manufacturers and know how to hold them accountable for their products. We pursue nothing less than full compensation for your injuries, and that includes everything – medical expenses, physical rehabilitation, lost wages and pain and suffering.
Call Childers, Schlueter & Smith today at (800) 641-0098 or fill out the form on the page to speak with a lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action to take going forward. Our case evaluations are always free, and are always focused on what’s best for our clients.