What is an IVCF?

Intravenous Vena Cava Filters are small wire, cage-like structures which are surgically placed in the inferior vena cava, which is a large blood vessel carrying blood from the lower body back to the heart. The purpose of these filters is to trap and break up any substantial blood clots that might have formed in the lower extremities of the body (most often in the legs or the pelvic region) and then travel through the blood vessels to other areas of the body.

What is the problem?

Numerous adverse incidents (See: Reports of Bard Recovery fracture) have been reported with these filters. The problems include:

  • movement of the IVC filter from the site where it was implanted and intended to stay (referred to as filter migration)
  • IVC filter breakage (referred to as fracturing) and therefore not functioning properly to catch clots
  • either the whole filter or parts that have broken off moving through the blood vessels and lodging in the lungs thereby causing a very serious version of the situation they were intended to prevent: blood clots in the lungs (called pulmonary embolisms)
  • piercing of the blood vessel wall (referred to as perforation)
  • extreme difficulty surgically removing the IVC filter from the body

What are some of the possible serious health symptoms?

All patients with an IVC Filter should be monitored regularly to determine if the device is still intact and functioning properly. Many people are unaware that their IVC filter has either dislodged from its original placement or parts of it have broken off (fractured) and moved (migrated) to another location in the body, possibly lodging in the heart or the lungs.

  • Severe or persistent chest pain, including pleuritic chest pain (pain when inhaling or exhaling)
  • Tachycardia (consistent rapid heart rate)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Neck pain, confusion, lightheadedness, and or nausea
  • Sudden onset of coughing (may produce blood)

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The current status of IVC Filters lawsuits and litigation:

The FDA has issued multiple warnings regarding these medical devices with the most recent being on 5/6/14 and 7/23/15. Several studies have suggested the filters were not effective at helping patients and that the substantial risks of a potential problem greatly outweighed any possible benefit. Lawsuits have already been filed, some have successfully settled, and more cases are pending. The Ruth Law Team is currently accepting cases involving IVC filter failure. We have extensive experience handling claims against medical device manufacturers for faulty products. You may be entitled to significant compensation if you or a loved one has experienced the failure of an IVC filter and the accompanying health issues.

FDA Recommendations and Actions:

According to its website, The FDA recommends that physicians and clinicians who have implanted the IVC filter consider removing the filter as soon as protection from pulmonary embolism is no longer needed. It encourages all doctors involved in treatment of patients who have the IVC filter to thoroughly consider the risks and benefits of removing the filter. If removal is feasible and favorable given the patient’s health status, he or she should be referred for IVC filter removal. Obviously, we are not doctors and cannot (and will not) advise you on how to handle your medical situation — that decision must be made by your physician after he or she discusses the matter with you.

About The Ruth Law Team

For over 40 years, The Ruth Law Team has been helping those who were injured due to an accident, defective product, nursing home abuse, and more. If you or someone you love was wrongfully hurt, The Ruth Law Team will guide and support you through the legal process.

Our team of passionate and experienced personal injury attorneys will fight for what you deserve. If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys and have your case evaluated, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (888) 783-8378. Our lines are open 24/7.

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