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IVC Filter Migration

IVC Filter Migration

Doctors and the FDA have warned that retrievable IVC filters (such as the Bard Recovery and Bard G2 IVC filters) are associated with a high risk of migration, especially if the implants are not placed correctly or removed in a timely manner.

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 Migration

Migration is one of the rarest but most serious side effects of an IVC filter. This complication occurs when the IVC filter moves inside the body. It may refer to migration of the entire device (shifting in position) or migration of pieces of the device due to filter fracture. Both conditions can have life-threatening side effects.

An IVC filter is a medical device that is often implanted in people at risk of a pulmonary embolism who cannot take a blood-thinning medication. It is a cage-like device that is implanted in the patient’s inferior vena cava (IVC). With the availability of retrievable IVC filters (such as the Bard Recovery and Bard G2 IVC filters) the number of people implanted with filters has increased significantly.

In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a Safety Communication to warn that retrievable IVC filters are associated with a high risk of filter migration.

Studies of IVC Filter Migration

This report, published in the Journal of Trauma in February 2008, describes the case of a 53 year-old man who was implanted with a retrievable IVC filter. One week after receiving the implant, it migrated to his heart and destroyed his tricuspid valve. He required valve replacement surgery to repair the damage.

This study, published in 2009 in the Journal of Invasive Cardiology reviewed nearly 30 cases of IVC filter migration. The researchers found that newer retrievable IVC filters were significantly more likely to migrate to the heart (right ventricle) than older implants. Consequently, these filters are associated with a higher risk of complications, ventricular arrhythmias, and death. Many patients require heart bypass surgery to remove the device after it migrates into the heart.

In this report published in 2006, surgeons warned “Migration of an IVC filter to the heart is a rare event that can result in massive pulmonary embolism.” The surgeons warned that the filters can become clogged with blood clots, and without blood-thinning medications, the massive blood clots can dislodge and cause a sudden and life-threatening pulmonary embolism.

In this study, researchers described two case reports of filter migrations to the heart.

Complications of IVC Filter Migration

Retrievable IVC filters are more likely than permanent IVC filters to migrate or shift position inside the inferior vena cava. The device often moves into the heart (specifically, the right ventricle). Filters that remain in the heart are associated with more than a 50% mortality rate. Removing a migrated filter from the heart may involve open-heart surgery, which carries its own serious risks. If a surgeon cannot safely remove a migrated filter, the patient may require frequent monitoring and lifelong follow-up care.

Complications of IVC filter migration may include, but are not limited to:

  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Ventricular arrhythmias
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Erosion into the inferior vena cava wall
  • Perforation of the inferior vena cava, heart, or lungs (which may occur over time)
  • Filter may be clogged with blood clots
  • Filter may not protect against pulmonary embolism
  • Patient may require open-heart surgery to remove the device
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Death

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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