Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters are small cone-shaped medical devices that are inserted into a patient’s inferior vena cava in order to stop blood clots from reaching his or her lungs. The inferior vena cava is a blood vessel that is responsible for moving blood from the lower body to the heart. The devices are often used for patients who are at risk for pulmonary embolism but cannot be treated with anticoagulant drugs.
These devices have been linked to serious adverse medical problems, and lawsuits brought by people injured by the devices are set to begin next year. If your doctor has suggested that you receive and IVC filter or you already have one, here are three things you should know.
In 2010, the FDA Had Already Received 921 Adverse Event Reports Regarding Retrievable IVC Filters
Between 2005 and 2010, the Food & Drug Administration received 921 adverse event reports IVC filters, including the following:
- 328 involving device migration
- 146 involved detachment of device components
- 70 involved perforation of the device
- 56 involved filter fracture
In its Safety Alert regarding the apparent risks associated with the long-term use IVC filters, the agency expressed concerned that while the devices were intended for short-term use, they are not always removed when a patient’s risk for pulmonary embolism goes down.
Defective IVC Filters Can Lead to Serious Problems
When these devices fail, patients can experience extremely serious side effects, including severe pain, respiratory distress, shortness of breath, hemorrhage, and perforation of organs. In some cases, the filters were not able to be removed, even with surgery.
The FDA Is Recommending that Physicians Remove IVC Filters as Soon as They are Not Needed
In light of these risks, the FDA is recommending that physicians who are responsible for the ongoing care of patients who have received retrievable IVC filters remove them as soon as the patient no longer needs to be protected from pulmonary embolism.
Call an IVC Filter Lawsuit Attorney for More Information
If you or a loved one has experienced adverse effects after receiving an IVC filter, you should speak to an attorney immediately. Based on the evidence currently available, there is a good chance that people hurt by these devices will be able to recover significant compensation. To learn more and to speak with an attorney, call the McEwen Law Firm today at 651-224-3833 or contact us online.