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IVC Filter Dangers

IVC Filter Dangers

Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters are only supposed to be used in patients at risk of pulmonary embolism, a life-threatening medical condition in which blood clots get stuck in the lungs. For patients who are very sick, the dangers of an IVC filter are lower than the benefits. However, when a temporary IVC filter is not removed once a patient is no longer at risk of pulmonary embolism, the dangers increase significantly.

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.

IVC Filter Benefits vs. Dangers

Every year, thousands of people are implanted with inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. Unfortunately, recent studies have raised alarm that the devices are widely accepted with little evidence of efficacy. Other studies indicate that the majority of patients with an IVC filter do not actually need the device:

“It appears the vast majority of filters that are placed in patients with a pulmonary embolism may not reduce mortality. … Only a small percentage of patients suffering from a pulmonary embolism are in shock or in need of ventilation support, and therefore only a small proportion need a filter.”

Dangers of an IVC Filter

When a temporary IVC filter migrates from its intended position, it can potentially erode into the inferior vena cava or get stuck in an ineffective position, where it may fail to catch blood clots or prevent a pulmonary embolism.

IVC filters can also fracture, allowing embolization of filter fragments in the bloodstream. They may eventually travel to the heart valves or right ventricle and even perforate the heart. This can cause a complication called cardiac tamponade, in which fluid accumulates around the heart and causes chest pain and heart rhythm disturbances.

IVC filters difficult or impossible to remove — especially when the dangers of removing the filter outweigh the potential benefits, such as when filter fragments get stuck in the heart or lungs. This increases the risk of long-term complications, such as deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs).

FDA Safety Warning for IVC Filter Dangers

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Safety Alert for IVC filters in 2010. Since 2005, the agency received nearly 1,000 reports of complications:

  • 328 reports of migration
  • 146 reports of embolizations (detachment of device components)
  • 70 reports of inferior vena cava perforation
  • 56 reports of filter fracture

These events occurred in patients who were implanted with temporary IVC filters that were only intended for short-term placement. The FDA recommended that temporary filters should be removed as soon as a patient was no longer at risk of pulmonary embolism to reduce the risk of dangerous complications.

Types of Retrievable IVC Filters

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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