For patients with an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), placement of an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter is intended to stop harmful blood clots from traveling to the heart and lungs. While this surgery has proven successful in some instances, many other patients claim that serious injury has occurred as a result of treatment. An IVC filter fracture is just one of many alleged complications which has led to IVC filter lawsuits being filed against the device makers. Affected patients are seeking assistance from an IVC filter lawsuit attorney to help them recover compensation for their injuries.
If you or a loved one suffered an IVC filter fracture, contact Attorney Group 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 IVC filter attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
How Does an IVC Filter Help With Blood Clots?
The inferior vena cava plays a vital role in transferring blood from the lower extremities to the right atrium of the heart. Blood clots can sometimes form in the lower body and should these clots make their way to the lungs, patients may develop a pulmonary embolism. This is a very serious condition that can be fatal if immediate medical action is not taken.
While anticoagulants are often prescribed to treat blood clots, in some cases alternative solutions may be required. An IVC filter implant is a procedure that helps lessen the chance of blood clots making their way to the heart or lungs. The IVC filter is inserted into a vein in the patient’s arm, leg, or neck, then moved to the inferior vena cava to intercept clots. This prevents clots from traveling to areas where they can prove most damaging.
IVC Filter Fracture One of Many Risks Associated With IVC Filters
According to sciencedaily.com, a 2010 study suggests that IVC filters fracturing within the inferior vena cava is not uncommon. One particular filter was found to have fractured in 13 out of 80 patients who were examined at a Pennsylvania hospital. In addition to piercing or puncturing internal organs and blood vessels, fractured filters may hinder proper blood flow. Filters can also perforate internal structures, resulting in severe bleeding and other complications.
The American Heart Association mentions a case where a 56 year-old-woman suffered from a cardiac tamponade, or increased pressure in the heart caused by a buildup of fluid in the pericardial sac, due to the fracture of an IVC filter. The resulting surgery uncovered the migrated filter strut as well as a wound present on the right ventricle free wall.
Previously filed IVC filter fracture lawsuits have alleged that it takes only a short time for an IVC filter to fracture. One study noted found that 40% of some types of IVC filters fractured after 5.5 years. The report described cases where the fractured pieces traveled to the pulmonary arteries, femoral veins, heart, and kidney vein. Other fragments embedded near the filter and one fragment could not be located.
Other IVC Filter Risks
In addition to fractures, claims of other serious risks are associated with IVC filters. Filter migration is the most common concern, which involves the filter moving from its intended location to other areas of the body. Alleged complications also include an increased chance of infection, blockages stemming from too many clots accumulating within the filter, and scarring around placement areas which inhibits filter removal.
In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a product warning regarding the failure to remove IVC filters once the threat of pulmonary embolism has subsided. In this safety communication, the FDA noted the occurrence of adverse events related to IVC filter treatments, with up to 921 reports of alleged complications being forwarded to the agency since 2005. The FDA contends that filters must be removed in a timely manner to prevent future damage from occurring.
Attorneys are alleging serious injuries in IVC filter fracture lawsuits being filed on behalf of affected patients.
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 IVC filter lawyer to learn more about their rights and remedies.
Contact Attorney Group for more information. 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.