What is an IVC filter?
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are implanted by surgeons in an effort to prevent blood clots from causing serious injury to a person. If a blood clot forms and becomes caught in the bloodstream, it not only causes horrible swelling and discomfort, but can also make its way to the heart or lungs, causing a stroke, heart attack, or death. The filter is designed to capture any blood clots moving through the vena cava—a large vein carrying deoxygenated blood into the heart—as a temporary measure for people who cannot tolerate anticoagulant medications. Currently, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that if a patient must have an IVC filter placed, the surgeon should remove it as soon as the patient is no longer under the threat of having a blood clot.
What are the risks?
There are numerous risks associated with IVC filters. It has been reported that the filters can be a potential cause of deep vein thrombosis, which is exactly what the design sought to prevent in the first place. Once implanted, IVC filters can potentially migrate, malfunction, or fracture, leading to severe injuries sometimes resulting in death. Additionally, the removal surgery for an IVC filter is in itself considered by the FDA and medical professionals to be a high-risk procedure that very few surgeons are qualified to perform.
Who makes the IVC filter?
C.R. Bard and Cook Group, Inc. are both manufacturers of the IVC filter. An investigative report conducted by NBC news in late 2015 revealed that C.R. Bard executives were aware of the dangers of their IVC filters, but were still willing to falsify documents to win FDA approval.
“…the medical device manufacturer decided to keep them on the market for five years, until 2010, selling more than 160,000 of them. At least 12 deaths and hundreds of problems are now linked to the G2 series filters, according to Bard and FDA records.” – NBC news
What type of injuries can an IVC filter cause?
Since 2005, the FDA has received 921 device adverse event reports involving IVC filters, of which 328 involved device migration, 146 involved embolization (detachment of device components), 70 involved perforation of the IVC, and 56 involved filter fracture. Adverse events have resulted in injuries including, but not limited to, the following:
- Pulmonary embolism
- Hemorrhaging (severe internal bleeding)
- Heart attack
- Wrongful death
How Our Minneapolis Attorneys Can Help
If you or a family member has suffered because of a malfunction or migration of an IVC filter, there are legal steps available to you. Taking these steps can help you get compensation for your suffering, medical bills, insurance claims, and rehabilitation.
At GoldenbergLaw, our attorneys have been helping clients nationwide seek justice against medical device manufacturers for decades. We have the experience to help get you compensation and will make your case our top priority. For help with your IVC filter case, please don't hesitate to contact our attorneys today by filling out the form on this page or calling us at 612-436-5026.