An Inferior Vena Cava filter or IVC filter is a small metal device inserted in a person’s inferior vena cava—or the main blood vessel that runs from the lower body to the lungs and heart. IVC filters are typically implanted in patients who are at great risk for pulmonary embolism, but who are either unable to take anticoagulant medications or are unresponsive to other therapies.
IVC filters are devised to catch blood clots in the bloodstream before they can enter a person’s lungs while simultaneously allowing blood to flow around the device, naturally breaking down the clot over time. These retrievable cage-like devices are supposed to be removed after the risk of a pulmonary embolism has subsided, and are not intended to remain in the body for an extended period of time.
Unfortunately, IVC filters can cause serious to fatal side effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a safety communication in August 2010 regarding IVC filters, stating that more than 900 device adverse event reports from these devices were received, and warning medical professionals about the possible complications and risks associated with these devices. The FDA also instructed that these filters be removed from patients after the risk for developing a pulmonary embolism has passed.
The FDA updated their warning in May 2014, advising healthcare professionals that these devices should ideally be removed between 29 to 54 days after being implanted, as patients may face an increased risk of complications the longer the IVC filter remains in the body.
Risks Associated with IVC Filters
In theory, the device may prevent heart attacks resulting from traveling blood clots. Design defects, however, may possibly lead to the device tilting, detaching, migrating, fracturing, or perforating over time.
Some of the long-term risks and side effects of IVC filters include:
- Pulmonary embolism
- Organ erosion, obstruction or perforation
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Severe chest pain
- Respiratory distress
- Cardiac tamponade
Call The Fitch Law Firm
The Fitch Law Firm is currently investigating claims related to the inferior vena cava filter, a medical device believed to cause serious personal injuries to recipients.
If you or a loved one suffers serious side effects after having an IVC filter implanted, consult with an attorney as soon as possible. The legal professionals at The Fitch Law Firm have the extensive experience and knowledge necessary to advise you on your legal options and how to best move forward with a lawsuit.
You can trust that we will fight tirelessly for your recovery and get you the results you and your family need—including compensation for your lost income, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.
We will help you get the justice you deserve. Call The Fitch Law Firm at 855-LAW-OHIO today or fill out our online consultation form to schedule a free consultation.