A New Jersey IVC filter lawsuit may be an option for patients who have suffered complications as a result of an IVC filter procedure. Though the purpose of Inferior vena cava (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 complications. While this procedure has proven successful in many instances, some patients have filed IVC filter lawsuits against the device makers alleging injuries associated with the IVC filters.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for New Jersey. 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 New Jersey IVC filter lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
IVC Filters and Blood Clots
The inferior vena cava is responsible for transporting deoxygenated blood to the lungs through the right atrium of the heart. The University of Michigan Health System points out that this vein is the largest in the human body and if it allows a clot to reach a major organ, many serious complications may occur. IVC filters prevent this from occurring by capturing blood clots in the vena cava before they have the opportunity to travel to the lungs or heart.
There are two types of IVC filters – retrievable and permanent. Despite the fact that these filters can perform a very important function, devices that were created to be retrievable were marketed as a permanent solution due to the fact that similar medical devices were already in use around the country.
IVC Filters and Pulmonary Embolisms
When a blood clot forms in a person’s leg, it can sometimes detach from the tissue around it. The clot can then travel up the veins of the leg and to the abdomen where it reaches the inferior vena cava vein. At this point, it is referred to as an embolism because it is loose and moving through the body. Once in the inferior vena cava, the clot can make its way up to the heart. If the clot arrives at the pulmonary artery, doctors reclassify it as a pulmonary embolism.
These embolisms can result in breathing difficulties, chest pain, and in certain cases, death. This is because the clot prevents blood that has been deoxygenated from flowing as it should.
Some people have a higher risk of developing a blood clot due to genetics or medical history. When people are diagnosed with a blood clot in the lower limbs, doctors often start treatment by placing them on a blood thinner. The idea is that by thinning the blood, the clot will break up naturally before it poses a threat. However, sometimes blood thinners are ineffective and doctors then look at using an IVC filter.
IVC Filter Risks
Serious complications can occur if an IVC filter fractures, leaves its original location, or fills with a blood clots. When an IVC filter leaves its intended site, it is said to have “migrated”, and if it migrates to a major organ, life-threatening conditions can easily occur. IVC filter risks may include:
- Pulmonary embolism stemming from broken IVC pieces
- Damage to the IVC filter itself
- Blood clots
- Heart attack
A safety communication was issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 after the agency received a total of 921 reports of IVC filter malfunctions. These reports included a total of 328 cases of filter migration, 146 cases of broken filters traveling throughout the body, 70 cases of filters puncturing the inferior vena cava, and 56 cases of filter breakage.
Attorneys are alleging serious injuries and other complications in New Jersey IVC filter lawsuits being filed on behalf of affected patients.
How a New Jersey IVC Filter Lawsuit Attorney 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 a New Jersey IVC filter lawyer to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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