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IVC Filters Do Not Improve Survival Odds for Trauma Patients

IVC Filters Do Not Improve Survival Odds for Trauma Patients

September 29, 2016 — Another study has found that trauma patients do not live longer when they receive an IVC filter, and the filters may actually increase mortality because they are rarely removed.

Only 8% of the filters were removed during the 3.8-year follow-up, which is remarkably low but not unusual. In general, only about 20% of retrievable IVC filters are ever removed.

The FDA recommends removing IVC filters within 29-54 days, or as soon as possible. The longer it remains implanted, the higher the risk of complications like filter fracture, organ damage, and blood clots.

Dr. Shayna Sarosiek said IVC filters should be removed as soon as a trauma patient can take a blood-thinning medication. She also questioned whether they should be used at all:

“Overall, these data indicate that IVC filters should not be placed in trauma patients in an effort to decrease all-cause mortality.”

The conclusions were based on data from 451 trauma patients who received an IVC filter vs. 1,343 patients who did not. The study was published by doctors at Boston University School of Medicine in JAMA Surgery.

Last year, a study published in the Annals of Surgery also found no survival benefit to placing IVC filters in trauma patients, but an 83% increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots in the legs).

Over 1,500 lawsuits accuse device-makers of downplaying these risks. As of mid-September, there were 886 lawsuits pending against C.R. Bard and another 933 against Cook Medical. The lawsuits are centralized in federal courts in Arizona and Indiana.

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