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Inferior Vena Cava filters (IVC) are designed to catch blood clots before they move into the lungs. About 200,000 blood clot filters are implanted to prevent pulmonary embolisms each year.
Former recipients have filed more than 200 IVC filter lawsuits against manufacturers C.R. Bard, Cook Medical and Cordis (Johnson & Johnson), alleging punctured veins and organs, fractured devices, chronic health issues and life-threatening events. Many lawsuits involve severe complications like open-heart surgery and wrongful death. Knutson+Casey is currently accepting IVC filter induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a serious complication, contact an attorney at Knutson+Casey immediately by using the form on this page, or calling (507) 344-8888.
Blood clots that form in the deep veins of the leg will sometimes break free and travel through the pulmonary artery into the heart or lungs, causing life-threatening complications. This risk is most common in patients with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) who are generally treated with anticoagulant therapy. For those who cannot tolerate anticoagulant drugs, or who do not respond well to blood thinning agents, an IVC filter is used instead. IVC filters are small, cage-like devices that are inserted into the inferior vena cava to capture blood clots and prevent them from reaching the lungs. The inferior vena cava is the main vessel returning blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. They are not intended to be a replacement for drug-based management of venous thromboembolism (VTE). To date, there has been only one controlled trial completed on IVC filters. This study found that IVC filters reduced the incidence of PE but increased the incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
IVC filters are placed via the blood vessels. Historically, IVC filters were placed surgically, but with modern filters that can be compressed into much thinner catheters, access to the venous system can be obtained via the large vein in the groin called the femoral vein, the large vein in the neck called the internal jugular vein, or the arm veins. Choice of route depends mainly on the number and location of any blood clot within the venous system. To place the filter, a catheter is guided into the IVC, then the filter is pushed through the catheter and deployed into the desired location, usually just below the junction of the IVC and the lowest renal vein.
In August 2010, the FDA issued a Safety Communication after receiving 921 adverse event reports involving IVC filters. The FDA stated: “The FDA has received reports of adverse events and product problems associated with IVC filters. Types of reports include device migration, filter fracture, embolization (movement of the entire filter or fracture fragments to the heart or lungs), perforation of the IVC, and difficulty removing the device. Some of these events led to adverse clinical outcomes. These types of events may be related to how long the filter has been implanted. Other known long-term risks associated with IVC filters include lower limb deep vein thrombosis and IVC occlusion. For patients with retrievable filters, some complications may be avoided if the filter can be removed once the risk of pulmonary embolism has subsided. The FDA is concerned that retrievable IVC filters, when placed for a short-term risk of pulmonary embolism, are not always removed once the risk subsides.”
The FDA reports the following complications:
Our IVC Filter lawyers provide free confidential consultation, and if we are fortunate enough for you to hire us, we never will charge you any fees or costs unless you first recover.
If you or a loved one have been injured by an IVC filter please contact us or call us at (507) 344-8888 immediately for a free consultation. We accept cases in all 50 states.