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IVC Filters

IVC Filters

If you or a loved one has suffered complications from implantation of an IVC filter device, you or your loved one may be entitled to compensation.

IVC filters are cage-like medical devices implanted in the inferior vena cava (IVC) vein just below the kidneys. The inferior vena cava is the main blood vessel that returns blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. IVC filters are placed in patients who are at risk for developing blood clots and IVC filters are designed and implanted to prevent the traveling of blood clots from the lower body to vital organs including the lungs and heart. Blood clots can cause life-threatening complications including a pulmonary embolism or heart attack.

The Food and Drug Administration first warned of potential problems and complications related to IVC filter devices in August 2010. On May 6, 2014 the FDA updated its 2010 health advisory to physicians concerning the use of IVC filters. The FDA advisory concluded that IVC filters potentially pose a health and safety concern to individuals and recommended to physicians and healthcare providers that IVC filter devices be removed once the risk of pulmonary embolism is resolved. Click here to read this important FDA advisory. This recommendation was made in an effort to prevent serious complications such as device tilting, movement, migration, fracture and breaking.

Unfortunately, manufacturers have not been forthcoming to physicians regarding the risks involved with their IVC filter products which in many cases has lead to IVC filters being left in patients longer than has now been recommended by the FDA. Studies have shown that a large percentage of implanted IVC filters cause complications. Various IVC filter designs including, but not limited to, the following have reportedly been linked to these serious complications:

  • Bard Recovery IVC Filter
  • Bard G2 IVC Filter
  • Cook Medical Gunther Tulip IVC Filter
  • Cook Celect IVC Filter

The use of an IVC filter may cause the following problems and complications:

  • IVC filter device migration
  • IVC filter device fracture
  • Embolization of the device (fragments of the device lodge in the heart or lungs)
  • Perforation or erosion of tissue by the IVC filter device or filter fragments
  • Tilting of the IVC filter device
  • Difficulty in removing the IVC filter device

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