An IVC (inferior vena cava) filter is a a medical device that is implanted by interventional radiologists or vascular surgeons into the inferior vena cava to presumably prevent life-threatening blood clots. Their effectiveness and safety profile is not well established, and in general, they are only recommended in some high-risk scenarios.
- Bard Denali
- Bard Eclipse
- Bard G2
- Bard G2X
- Bard Meridian
- Bard Recovery
- Bard Simon Nitinol
- Boston Scientific Greenfield
- B. Braun Vena Tech LGM
- B. Braun Vena Tech LP
- Cook Celect
- Cook Gianturco-Roehm Bird’s Nest
- Cook Gunther Tulip
IVC (inferior vena cava) filters are cone-shaped devices with legs that extend to trap blood clots, preventing the clots from moving through the body and causing a pulmonary embolism. IVC filters are usually implanted in patients who have a history of blood clots, have been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, are immobilized or have recently had surgery, or who are not able to take anticoagulant medications
Unfortunately, some IVC filters have proven to demonstrate a high rate of failure, usually by fracturing or moving away from its intended location. When an IVC filter fractures, small shards can travel to the heart, the liver, other organs, or become released into the veins leading to serious injuries and, in some cases, death.
Research has concluded that 16% of patients studied experienced IVC filter fracture. Of the patients who experienced filter fracture, about 71% had a piece of a filter make its way to the heart, while others experienced filter migration to the liver and within the veins.
Some injuries reported in patients who have experienced Bard IVC filter fracture include:
- Cardiac tamponade (a disruption of the heart caused by excess fluid)
- Heart perforation
- Hemorrhagic pericardial effusion (blood around the heart)
- Lung perforation
- Tissue perforation
- Vena cava perforation
- Ventricular tachycardia (accelerated heartbeat)
The American Medical Association considers the efficacy of IVC filters to hardly warrant the risk. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Internal Medicine in March 2013 found that fewer than 10% of IVC filters would be removed as intended, and 8% of patients developed a pulmonary embolism regardless of the device being there.
Can I file a lawsuit if I have have been injured by an IVC Filter?
Possibly. If a manufacturer produces a dangerous or defective product, it can be held responsible to those who are injured as the result of inadequate warnings, under a legal theory known as “product liability.” Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one has been harmed by an IVC Filter, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced IVC Filter lawyer to discuss your legal options. As all legal claims are subject to time limits, however, you may risk forfeiture of your right to financial compensation if you delay.