- IVC Filters Can Cause Dangerous Complications
- May 27, 2016
- Law Firm: Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos A Professional Corporation - Baltimore Office
- IVC filters are inserted into the inferior vena cava vein—the largest in the human body—in order to prevent blood clots from moving to a patient’s vital organs. When implanted and maintained properly, both permanent and retrievable filters can reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism and stroke. The important difference between the two types of filters is that the retrievable filters are intended to be removed once the risk of stroke has subsided. When retrievable IVC filters are left in place for an extended period of time, serious complications such as device migration, vein or organ perforation and fracturing of the filter can occur.
In 2010, the FDA issued a warning regarding the potentially life-threatening conditions that can develop when retrievable filters are left in place for prolonged periods of time. The warning cited nearly one thousand adverse event reports pertaining to the devices. This safety communication was updated in 2014 to recommend that retrievable filters be removed 30-60 days after implantation to mitigate the risk of complications. One year later, NBC News published an internal investigation which revealed that at least 27 people had died from IVC filter related complications. Other instances of severe complications included one in which the device migrated and fatally punctured a patient’s heart.
Patients and their attorneys are alleging that IVC manufacturers, C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, failed to warn patients and physicians of the risks related to the device, and that the device was designed irresponsibly and caused avoidable complications. The lawsuits also claim that the manufacturers were negligent in their representation of the device.