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IVC Filter Lawsuit


IVC Filter Lawsuit Attorneys In Salt Lake City

IVC Filter

IVC Filters: What Are They?

Retrievable inferior vena cava filters are cage-like, small devices made of metal. They are implanted in the veins of patients for the purpose of “catching” blood clots before they reach the patient’s lungs.

These devices have been connected to complications like perforation of veins or organs, breakage, and migration that can cause injury.

How Does the IVC Filter Work?

The largest vein in the body is the inferior vena cava. De-oxygenated blood moves through this vein from the lower legs to the heart and lungs. Doctors implant an IVC filter in the vein to prevent blood clots from traveling to the lungs. A doctor inserts the device (using a catheter) through a small incision in the neck or the groin. The metal wires of the device (it looks a little like an umbrella) capture blood clots before they can get to the lungs.

There are two types of IVC filters. Some are meant to be permanent, and others are temporary, or retrievable. The temporary filters are designed for short-term protection, and are supposed to be removed from the patient’s body when there is no longer a risk of blood clots, usually a few weeks following surgery.

What Goes Wrong with an IVC Filter?

Some IVC filters work better than others. They can even migrate away from the place where the surgeon put them, making them ineffective. Or sometimes the device might puncture a vein, causing bleeding and other complications that can be very serious. Your surgeon might have the best of intentions, but should keep watch for complications.

In 2010, the FDA issued a Safety Alert regarding retrievable IVC filters. Complications that have been reported include:

  • Device migration
  • Filter perforation
  • Filter fracture
  • Detached components of the device

Most of the adverse events involved device migration. The second most frequently reported complication to the FDA was embolization (pieces breaking off and moving away from the device).

What Should I Do If I Think I Have a Defective IVC Filter?

If you have your medical records, find out exactly what device was implanted. Two manufacturers have sold the IVC filters that are most prone to failure:

  • C.R. Bard
  • Cook Medical

If you think you have a claim, call The Advocates at 801-528-4515 for a free review of your case. Lawsuits are being filed against these two companies, alleging the filters broke apart and migrated, causing organ damage and other complications.