A North Carolina IVC filter lawsuit may be an option for patients who developed serious health complications after having a device implanted for the treatment of blood clots. Patients suffering from blood clot disorders are often treated with medical devices known as inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially approved these devices in 2003, and potential complications have led to increased scrutiny of the devices. While IVC filters have proven successful in many instances, a North Carolina IVC filter lawsuit may be an option for patients who have been injured by the devices.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina. 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 North Carolina IVC filter lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What Are IVC Filters?
Deep vein thrombosis is a very serious condition with sometimes deadly consequences. It is characterized by the formation of blood clots within deep leg veins that can travel to other parts of the body, including the heart and lungs. In the event that a clot should make its way into the lungs, pulmonary embolism may occur. A pulmonary embolism is potentially life-threatening, particularly when larger clots are present. These clots can block the oxygen supply to the lungs, which will result in heart failure if timely medical attention is not received.
Placement of an IVC filter is one method commonly used to treat this condition. IVC filters are implanted into the patient’s inferior vena cava vein to trap clots making their way up from the lower extremities. This is made possible through the construction of the filter, which entails a cage-like design intended to stop clots without impacting the flow of blood. Doctors implant the filter using a catheter via a small incision in the neck or groin. While IVC filters are sometimes used in conjunction with anticoagulants, in many cases they are recommended to patients with contraindication to such therapies.
Risks Associated With IVC Filters
IVC filters are associated with a number of serious risks and complications. The National Institutes of Health list the following potential side effects that have been linked to IVC filter placement in the past:
- Increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – While usage of IVC filters does decrease the risk of a pulmonary embolism, this treatment can actually increase the occurrence of DVT even in those without a past history of the condition. This risk grows larger, the longer a filter is left in place.
- Filter migration – Filters that break free from their intended locations often migrate around the body. Migrating filters can be the cause of serious blockages, and in some cases require surgical intervention to remedy.
- Perforation of internal tissues – Reports of filters perforating internal tissues are also common. This can include perforation of the aorta, duodenum, ureter and lumbar vessels. Depending on the area in question, significant bleeding can result from filter perforation.
In the event of these side effects occurring, filter retrieval may be necessary to prevent further damage from occurring. However, subsequent surgeries also entail quite a few complications, such as the accumulation of large clots in the filter as well as improper positioning within the vein. These effects can make safe removal impossible for some patients.
Other IVC Filter Risks
Due to the numerous side effects and complications associated with IVC filter use, the FDA released a safety alert in 2010, warning the medical community about the possible risks associated with the device. In the alert, the agency listed over 900 adverse event reports linked to these devices and as a result, urged medical practitioners to remove filters as soon as the risk of a pulmonary embolism had decreased.
Some patients have filed lawsuits alleging manufacturer negligence when it comes to the design and production of IVC filters. In one instance, filter migration caused substantial injury to a patient when an implanted filter became embedded in her internal organs. Subsequent surgeries failed to remove the migrated filter, and the patient will be required to undergo continuous monitoring to ensure further damage does not occur.
Attorneys are alleging serious injuries and other complications in North Carolina IVC filter lawsuits being filed on behalf of affected patients.
How a North Carolina 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 North Carolina IVC filter lawyer to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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For more information, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina. 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@example.com.
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