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IVC Filters

Almost anyone who has been hospitalized has been warned of the problems that can be caused by blood clots, which are more easily formed in the body when a person is not active. Long periods of rest in a hospital bed can significantly increase the risk of forming a clot.

Blood clots in an extremity, such as a leg, are often a great concern because the clots can travel through the body to the lungs. A blood clot in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism, and it can be deadly. When doctors find a clot, one option they can pursue to break up the clot and keep it from moving is to install a filter called an IVC (inferior vena cava) filter. These filters are used when blood thinners are not recommended for patients. An IVC filter is a very small metallic filter with long “legs” that help stop clots from traveling through the bloodstream.

IVC filters can harm patients

Studies have indicated, though, that when IVC filters are left in the body for prolonged periods of time, they may puncture veins or other organs. The filters also change positions and can become ineffective over time. The most common brands on the market are the Cook Celect and the Funther Tulip brands. C.R. Bard manufactures the Bard Recovery IVC Filter and Bard G2 IVC Filters, and Boston Scientific sells the Greenfield IVC Filter. All of these filters work similarly and are prone to the issues mentioned here.

The FDA warned of the dangers of these filters back in 2010, but IVC filters have remained on the market and in use by hospitals, doctors and surgeons in patients who cannot take anticoagulants. The FDA’s 2010 safety communication indicates that usage of the filters has increased dramatically from about 2,000 implanted in patients in 1979 to 167,000 used in 2007. From 2005 to 2010, the FDA received nearly 1,000 complaints of issues with the filters, including the filters breaking apart and filters migrating from the spot where they were initially implanted.

Information for patients with problems

If you have recently had an IVC filter implanted, and you have suffered an injury because the IVC filter migrated or broke apart you should speak with an experienced medical device attorney to ensure your rights are protected. Some patients are pursuing legal action through an MDL – multi-district litigation. An attorney can review your medical files and information to ensure that your rights as a patient and potential litigant are protected.

But don’t wait. As with most legal actions, a statute of limitations will apply. Call our experienced medical device attorneys at (270) 781-6500 today to be sure your case receives a thorough review. The initial consultation is free.