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Articles Posted in IVC Filters

More than 200,000 Americans suffer from the formation of blood clots in the veins every year. Anti-clotting medications exist, but some patients cannot take these drugs for various reasons. At first, IVC filters seemed to be the answer. IVC filters are medical devices intended to prevent blood clots from traveling to certain areas of the body. When implanted in the inferior vena cava, they may prevent clots from forming in the first place, thus reducing the risk of stroke and other serious medical conditions. Unfortunately, complications with these devices can be just as deadly as the blood clots themselves. As such, manufacturers of IVC filters are facing numerous product liability lawsuits for defective products.

What is the Danger?

It is shockingly common for pieces of IVC filters to break off, find their way to other areas of the body, and puncture organs and veins. According to the New England Society for Vascular Surgery, IVC filters have a 31 percent rate of fracture. In fact, most of these “splinters” migrate to the heart, lungs, or hepatic vein. And the risk of splintering increases the longer the filter remains in the patient’s body. A Boston defective medical products attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been harmed by an IVC filter.

Risks Associated with IVC Filters

These medical devices pose many life-threatening hazards, including:

  • Migration of the filter to other areas of the body
  • Fracture “splintering” of the filter
  • Perforation of organs and veins
  • Inability to retrieve filter
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Stroke
  • Death

The most disturbing aspect of this new information is that manufacturers may have known the risks and continued to market the filters anyway. Lawsuits allege that Bard knew about the risk of splintering as early as 2003, but failed to report its findings to the FDA, doctors or patients. In fact, Bard continued aggressive marketing of these deadly devices. A MA defective medical products lawyer can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured by an IVC filter.

Never Intended for Permanent Placement

IVC filters were never intended to remain in the body permanently. They are meant to be retrieved as soon as the risk of blood clots and pulmonary embolism has passed. Bard, one of the manufacturers of IVC filters, allegedly pushed for approval of permanent placement. Although Bard is the leading manufacturer of IVC filters, Cook and B. Braun are also at the center of multiple lawsuits for their defective filters. Continue reading

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are surgical devices that are threaded into the body through the skin and are intended to prevent blood clots after a medical procedure or accident. IVC filters can be implemented permanently or temporarily and removed once the patient’s risk of blood clotting is reduced. Over 250,000 of these devices have been installed as of 2012.

Although they are intended to save lives, IVC filters are incredibly prone to snapping or moving out of place of their originally-intended location, which can cause severe health complications and even a risk of death. There are thousands of ongoing and settled lawsuits resulting from damages – and wrongful deaths – caused by malfunctioning IVC filters against many different manufacturers.

Devices that are claimed to be liable in such lawsuits include:

  • Bard recovery filter
  • Bard G2 filter
  • Bard G2 Express filter
  • Cook Gunther Tulip filter
  • Cook Celect filter
  • Boston Scientific Greenfield filter

Although IVC filters are primarily intended to be a temporary measure to help stabilize a patient, a study of patients who had temporary IVC filters installed found that over 25 percent of them were ultimately unable to have their filters successfully removed. Simply put, the longer a temporary filter is left in the body, the higher the likelihood of it malfunctioning, moving or breaking.

Possible health complications of IVC filters

IVC filters have been FDA approved for years, however this does not change the fact that the devices are fragile and prone to breaking. If an IVC filter breaks, pieces of it can then travel through a patient’s blood stream, causing serious or even deadly injuries – like piercing internal organs (oftentimes the heart itself) or causing blockages in the blood stream.

A malfunctioning IVC filter may also cause an irregular heartbeat, loss of consciousness, irregular breathing or chest pain, heart damage and fluid buildup around the heart. The FDA is collecting more analytical information to assess the risks versus benefits of temporary IVC filters.

Lawsuits stemming from damages caused by IVC filters are voluminous, and involve multiple medical device manufacturers. Cook Medical Group had more than 1,900 lawsuits pending in federal court as of 2017 alleging a defective design, misrepresentative marketing and a failure to warn patients of potential danger.

Günther Tulip IVC filters was the subject of a study that claimed a shocking 100 percent of patients fitted with this device had it puncture their heart within 71 days of being implanted. C.R. Bard has settles cases in the past but still have more than 1,500 cases pending that allege gross negligence in addition to other misconduct. Continue reading

Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are surgical devices that are threaded into the body through the skin and are intended to prevent life-threatening blood clots from forming after a medical procedure or accident. IVC filters can be implemented permanently or temporarily and removed once the patient’s risk of blood clotting is reduced. Over 250,000 of these devices have been installed as of 2012.  However, even though an IVC filter is intended to be retrieved, there is no guarantee that it can be successfully removed. In fact, in a recent study of patients who had plans to have their temporary IVC filters installed, over 25% of them were unable to have their filters successfully removed. The longer that a temporary filter is left in the body, the higher the chance of something going terribly wrong.

Dangers of IVC filters

Despite being approved by the FDA decades ago, it has been revealed in recent years that these delicate devices are prone to malfunctioning and even breaking. As a result, pieces of the IVC filters can then travel through a person’s body causing serious or even deadly injuries such as piercing internal organs or causing blockages in the blood stream.

Other side effects of a malfunctioning IVC filter device include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Irregular breathing and chest pain
  • Heart damage
  • Fluid buildup around the heart

Currently the FDA is collecting more analytical information to assess the risks versus benefits of temporary IVC filters. In the meantime, many people who have suffered as a result of these devices are filing suit against the manufacturing companies. These include Boston Scientific, C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, the latter of which has had over 100 suits filed against them. Continue reading

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