Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are designed to prevent a blood clot from traveling to the heart or lungs. However, people who have had these filters implanted claim that the device makers allegedly knew there were problems with them. IVC filter lawyers allege that many of these defective because they break apart, can puncture the vein, and migrate away from their original location. IVC filters have been linked to emergency open heart surgery and in some cases, death of the patient. 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 complications after IVC filter surgery, 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.
What Are IVC Filters?
People who are at high risk for a blood clot in the lungs are often placed on anticoagulants, or blood thinners, to prevent these clots from forming in the legs and pelvis. However, not everyone is a candidate for this treatment because they are at a high risk of bleeding or they demonstrate a failure to respond to blood thinners.
For those patients, many doctors recommend the placement of an inferior vena cava filter within that vein, which is located in the abdomen and returns blood to the heart from the legs. This filter is a cone-shaped wire device intended to catch the blood clots so they are unable to move toward the lungs and heart, while still allowing blood to flow around the clot and through the device.
Risks Associated With IVC Filters
Some patients who cannot use blood thinners may not be good candidates for IVC filters. The devices could even raise risk factors rather than lowering them because they should be used concurrently with anticoagulants. Short-term IVC filters have been developed so that they can be removed once the initial threat of blood clots has lessened, and therefore lower the potential for any serious complications. Usually an IVC filter is more difficult to retrieve the longer it has been in place, and some removal procedures have been unsuccessful. Retrievable filters may be left in the vein based on a physician’s assessment of the risk factors for removal.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that retrievable IVC filters have caused serious health issues for hundreds of patients since 2005. Experts believe that leaving the device in a vein after it is no longer needed can lead to a high risk of patient harm. Adverse events associated with the filters include the following:
- Perforation of the vein
- Filter damage
- Detached filter components
- Migration of the filter
These known risks are believed to be related to long term use of filters that should be removed once the threat from blood clots has been mitigated, the agency stated.
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 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.
IVC filter lawyers are alleging serious injuries and other complications in IVC filter lawsuits being filed on behalf of affected patients.
IVC Filter Lawyers Can Help
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.
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