The Bard IVC filter is a medical device that is implanted in the inferior vena cava, which is a blood vessel between the heart and lungs. The wire filter is designed to catch blood clots before they are pumped into the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. Unfortunately, the IVC filter rarely reduces mortality for pulmonary embolism patients, and it is associated with numerous life-threatening side effects — including perforation of the heart or lungs, filter fracture, and more.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently evaluating IVC filter cases in all 50 states, regardless of whether you have been injured or not. If you or somebody you know was implanted with an IVC filter, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
What’s the problem with the IVC Filter?
The Bard IVC filter is intended to prevent pulmonary embolisms, which is a life-threatening condition that occurs when blood clots travel from the lower body and become trapped in the lungs. If the clots block major blood vessels, lung tissue can be severely damaged, leading to organ failure and death.
Although pulmonary embolisms are very dangerous, treating stable patients with an IVC filter may actually be even more dangerous — especially if they are implanted with a removable device that is never removed.
Studies of IVC Filter Side Effects
A study published in August 2012 in the American Journal of Medicine found that IVC filters do not reduce mortality for stable patients who are suffering from a pulmonary embolism. According to the lead researcher, “It appears the vast majority of filters that are placed in patients with a pulmonary embolism may not reduce mortality.”
Another study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found IVC filters associated with high rates of fractures and embolizations. One serious problem is that some physicians implanted removable IVC filters instead of permanent filters, but never actually removed the filters. The study found that 25% of patients with the removable devices suffered from fracture and embolization of the implant, including five patients who had an embolization to the heart. One patient died suddenly, and two others had severe injury to their heart.
FDA Warning about IVC Filter Side Effects
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Safety Communication after receiving 921 adverse event reports involving IVC filters. According to the FDA,
“The FDA is concerned that these retrievable IVC filters, intended for short-term placement, are not always removed once a patient’s risk for PE subsides. Known long term risks associated with IVC filters include but are not limited to lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT), filter fracture, filter migration, filter embolization and IVC perforation.”
IVC Filter Side Effects
Severe side effects of the IVC filter include:
- Device migration (if the device shift position, it may erode into the body or become ineffective at blocking blood clots)
- Embolizations (detachment of device fragments)
- Perforation of the inferior vena cava, heart, or lungs
- Filter fracture
- Cardiac tamponade (excess fluid around the heart compresses the heart and inhibits pumping)
- Hemorrhagic pericardial effusion (excess fluid around the heart)
- Lower-limb Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), edema (swelling with fluid)
- Air embolisms
- Narrowing or obstruction of the inferior vena cava
- Slower blood flow through the inferior vena cava
- Blood clots clogging the IVC
- A doctor may be unable to remove the IVC filter
Do I have an IVC Filter Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is evaluating IVC filter cases in all 50 states, regardless of whether you were injured or not. If you or someone you know received an IVC filter implant, please contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Please use the form below to contact our Defective Medical Device Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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