Inferior vena cava filters, or IVC filters, were originally designed to help patients at risk of pulmonary embolism (PE) and who could not take or did not respond to blood thinners. PE is a potentially fatal condition caused by a sudden blockage in an artery in the lung, typically resulting from a blood clot that has traveled to the lung from a vein in the leg. Implanted in the major vessel that is responsible for transferring blood from the legs to the heart, IVC filters resembled microscopic spiders or octopi with “legs” that were meant to catch blood clots before they could reach the lungs.
IVC filters initially seemed an ideal alternative to medication, but patients began reporting serious issues. Device migration and fracture were two of the potential issues with IVC implants and could cause catastrophic injury or even death. In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began recommending all patients with IVC filters to have them removed if possible. An updated safety communication was released in 2015 recommending removing filters as soon as possible after a patient’s risk of PE had lessened (after 29 to 54 days).
If you suffered any type of harm or lost a loved one due to an IVC filter malfunction, Cullan & Cullan is here to listen and help. Share your story with our Phoenix medical device injury attorneys and we will help you understand your rights and options. With medical and legal degrees, we can provide the quality counsel you need.
For a confidential, free review of your IVC filter claim, call (602) 900-9483.
IVC Filter Side Effects & Injuries
As of a 2010 report by the FDA, more than 900 adverse events had been reported regarding IVC implants. The primary issues were:
- Implant migration (328 incidents)
- Implant detachment (146 incidents)
- Perforation (70 incidents)
- Implant fractures (56 incidents)
The primary issue, IVC filter migration, occurred when the device actually moved from its initial location and traveled to another part of the body. This could be extremely dangerous if the filter or one of its legs traveled into the heart, causing significant trauma. Perforation involved incidents where the device partially or completely pierced the vein wall.
If you experienced any type of issue with an IVC filter, we may be able to help. We recommend calling for a free consultation, at which point we can discuss what occurred and how to best proceed.
Contact a Phoenix IVC filter injury lawyer at (602) 900-9483 to get started.