The Dangers of IVC Filters

In recent years, thousands of lawsuits have been filed in federal courts against manufacturers of IVC filters. Those filing the lawsuits claim a medical device that was meant to save their life caused them severe harm instead.

What is an IVC Filter?

IVC filters are small devices that are inserted into the vena cava, the largest vein in the body. The filters are designed to stop blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs of patients who may be at serious risk of blood clots but who cannot take blood thinners. They are comprised of metal wires that act as a tiny cage meant to catch blood clots before they travel from the vena cava to the lungs and heart.

Eleven different manufacturers make IVC filters, including Cook Colect, C.R. Bard, and Johnson & Johnson. Two different types of IVC filters exist. Permanent IVC filters, meant to stay in the patient for their lifetime, have been used in patients since the 1960s. Retrievable IVC filters, meant to temporarily stay in patients undergoing bariatric, trauma, or orthopedic surgery, were introduced in 2003. It is the Retrievable IVC filters that have been reported to cause patients the most difficulty.

Retrievable IVC Filter Injuries and Side Effects

In 2010, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reported safety concerns associated with Retrievable IVC filters. The agency had received hundreds of reports claiming pieces of the device or the entire device had shifted out of place and migrated to the bloodstream causing damage.

Some of the most frequent side effects and injuries experienced are:

  • Chest Pain
  • Hypotension
  • Heart Arrhythmia
  • Infection
  • Hemorrhaging or Internal Bleeding
  • Stroke
  • Cardiac or Pericardial Tamponade
  • Ventricle Tachycardia
  • Lower Limb Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism
  • Death

In 2014, the FDA updated its warning and suggested that most of the complications from Retrievable IVC Filters occurred because they were being left too long in patients. They recommended the removal of the device within 29–54 days, if possible

Retrievable IVC Filter Lawsuits

Since the FDA’s warnings, thousands of patients have filed lawsuits against manufacturers of Retrievable IVC Filters. The lawsuits allege fault by the manufacturers because of

  • Defective design
  • Manufacturing Defects
  • Misrepresentation in marketing
  • Failure to warn doctors and patients

Lawsuits against manufacturers Cook Colect and C.R. Bard claim the companies knew about the problems with the filters and willfully continued manufacturing and distributing the devices.

Those suing the manufacturers seek compensation for:

  • Medical expenses (current and any future)
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity due to permanent disability or impairment
  • Pain and suffering due to physical and emotional trauma
  • Wrongful Death

If you or a loved one have been harmed by a Retrievable IVC Filter, you too could be eligible for compensation. Contact us for a free evaluation of your situation to see if we can help you get the compensation you deserve.