A South Carolina IVC filter lawsuit may be an option for patients who have suffered complications as a result of an IVC filter procedure. Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are used to treat blood clot disorders such as deep vein thrombosis. While these devices are intended to lessen symptoms related to blood clots, they have been associated with complications including filter relocation, perforation of organs and/or blood vessels and filter fracture. While IVC filters have proven successful in many instances, some patients have filed IVC filter lawsuits against the device makers alleging injuries associated with the devices.
If you or a loved one suffered complications after an IVC filter procedure, contact Attorney Group for South Carolina 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.
IVC Filters and Deep Vein Thrombosis
IVC filters are small cone-shaped devices that are designed to catch embolisms before they are able to travel up to the heart and the lungs, while still allowing for regular blood flow. These devices are inserted into the inferior vena cava vein. Patients who are good candidates for IVC filters include those who are at risk for pulmonary embolism, but are unable to benefit from anticoagulation medications, and those who have developed large clots in either their iliac or inferior vena cava veins.
According to MedicineNet, deep vein thrombosis occurs when deep veins located within the leg muscles develop blood clots. While deep vein clots aren’t inherently dangerous, they can have deadly consequences should they break free and travel to other areas of the body such as the lungs. Blockages in the arteries of the lungs is known as pulmonary embolism, and in the event there are multiple or particularly large clots, decreased blood oxygen levels and restricted blood flow can occur.
For patients unable to tolerate blood thinning medications, IVC filters are often employed as an alternative treatment. The device is placed in the inferior vena cava where it prevents blood clots from moving to those areas of the body where they can cause damage. This is made possible through the filter’s design, which employs a cone-like shape to keep clots in place without inhibiting the flow of blood.
Risks Associated With IVC Filters
IVC filters have been linked to a number of serious health effects capable of causing injuries to patients. The National Institutes of Health list the following side effects commonly associated with IVC filters:
- Increased risk of pulmonary embolism – A study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital found that the occurrence of pulmonary embolism increased 5.6 percent post-implantation, while pulmonary embolism related fatalities increased 3.7 percent.
- Migrating filters – Migrating filters have been known to make their way into other areas of the body, including the heart. In this event, surgery is often required to remove the filter.
- Filter fractures – Filter fracturing can also occur. Broken struts are the most common fractured components, and these can cause internal bleeding should they make contact with delicate tissues.
In some cases, retrieval of temporary IVC filters can be made difficult by the presence of numerous clots in the device. Filters can also tilt into undesirable positions, which may require unorthodox retrieval methods and extended surgical time to successfully remove problem devices.
Other IVC Filter Risks
A 2010 safety alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) illustrates the range of side effects patients face when undergoing this treatment. Over the last ten years the FDA has received a total of 921 adverse event reports regarding these devices. Device migration affected the most patients with 328 reports, while detached device components (also known as embolization) affected 146 patients. Other reports included fractured filters and perforation of the inferior vena cava.
Some of these reports led to significant patient injury, which resulted in the FDA urging medical professionals to remove retrievable filters in a timely manner. The chance of complications occurring increase the longer a filter is left in place, which is why the agency recommends filters be extracted as soon as the risk of pulmonary embolism diminishes.
Attorneys are alleging serious injuries and other complications in South Carolina IVC filter lawsuits being filed on behalf of affected patients.
South Carolina IVC Filter Lawsuit
In light of the numerous adverse events reported to the FDA regarding IVC filters, many patients are filing lawsuits against manufacturers for their failure to manufacture a safe product. Patients also cite a lack of warning regarding the risks of IVC filter implantation, which prevented patients from making an informed decision about the treatment.
In one instance, a woman implanted with an IVC filter suffered from significant injury when the device migrated from its initial location and became lodged in her internal organs. Subsequent surgery failed to remove the filter, and as a result the patient must receive continual treatment to prevent potentially fatal effects from occurring.
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 a South Carolina IVC filter lawyer to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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