An inferior vena cava (IVC) filter implant is a standard treatment for patients with an increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis. Though the purpose of IVC filters is to prevent dangerous blood clots from making their way to the heart and lungs, many patients undergoing these treatments have experienced serious side effects, and in some cases, death. While this procedure has proven successful in many instances, some patients have filed an Illinois IVC filter lawsuit against the device makers alleging injuries associated with devices.
If you or a loved one suffered complications after an IVC filter procedure, contact Attorney Group for Illinois to learn more. We offer free, confidential, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions and inform you of your options. If you choose to pursue a claim, we can connect you with an affiliated Illinois IVC filter lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What Are IVC Filters?
Deep vein thrombosis, a condition where blood clots form in the lower extremities, is commonly treated using IVC filters. While anticoagulants are often used to reduce the likelihood of clots forming, not every patient is able to take these medications. As a result, many doctors opt for IVC filters in cases where contraindications are present, such as patients suffering from disorders like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Many of those suffering from deep vein thrombosis are also at an increased risk of developing a pulmonary embolism or an abrupt blockage within the lung arteries. These blockages originate in the lower body and can make their way through the inferior vena cava to lodge in the lungs as well as other areas. Multiple clots in the same area, or those that are larger in size, can result in death due to the lack of oxygen going to lung tissue and other organs.
IVC filters are intended to reduce the occurrence of pulmonary embolism by stopping clots before they can do damage. This is due to the design of the filter, which resembles a metal cage that traps clots in place within the vein. Doctors first insert the filter using a catheter via a small incision (usually in the groin or neck), then move the device into place within the inferior vena cava. The purpose of the filter is to trap clots without blocking the natural flow of blood through the veins.
Illinois IVC Filter Lawsuit: Risks Associated With IVC Filters
While treatment using IVC filters can be beneficial in some cases, the list of alleged risks and complications associated with these devices continues to grow:
- Device migration – IVC filter migration is a common risk that can have very serious health effects, as it did for one Florida woman who underwent the treatment in 2008. After her IVC filter migrated to her left renal vein, doctors found they were unable to remove the device for fear of damaging the surrounding tissue.
- Filter fracture – Fractured filters also pose quite a risk, as broken components can perforate or pierce internal tissues. Significant internal bleeding may result, especially when fractured components make contact with areas of the heart.
- Detachment of device components – Device components can also detach and become lodged in one’s veins. These blockages are similar to what occurs in patients afflicted with pulmonary embolism, and the outcome can be just as severe.
Other risks include complications like infection, bowel perforation, and even arterial hemorrhage.
Attorneys are alleging serious injuries and other complications in Illinois IVC filter lawsuits being filed on behalf of affected patients.
Other IVC Filter Risks
An alert issued by the FDA in 2010 details the alleged dangers posed by IVC filters. Migrating filters were the primary complication with 328 instances reported, while embolization featured in 146 reports. Additionally, 70 reports referenced perforation of the inferior vena cava, and 56 reports involved filter fractures. The FDA recommends that patients who still have an IVC filter in their inferior vena cava vein work with their medical provider in order to have the device removed as soon as it is no longer needed.
These complications associated with IVC filters often require extensive surgical intervention, and can result in death in some cases. This has led to a number of patients filing lawsuits against IVC filter manufacturers, alleging that the safety of these devices has been misrepresented to both the general public as well as the medical community.
Injured Patients May Be Entitled to Compensation
Medical device makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their devices, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a device maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
If a patient dies from complications related to a defective IVC Filter, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one.
Patients who have suffered severe complications from IVC filters, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the device, are encouraged to seek the advice of an Illinois IVC filter lawyer to learn more about their rights and remedies.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Illinois. You can fill out the form on this page, call us at the number listed at the top of the page, or email us at [email protected].
When you contact us, an attorney will follow up with you to speak with you about your case or answer questions that you might have. There is no cost or obligation to speak with us, and any information you provide will be kept confidential.
Please note that the law limits the time you have to pursue a claim or file a lawsuit for an injury. If you think you have a case, you should not delay taking action.