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Study: Trauma Patients May Not Benefit from IVC Filters

Study: Trauma Patients May Not Benefit from IVC Filters

November 23, 2015 — Trauma patients who are implanted with an IVC filter are no more likely to survive, but 83% more likely to develop deep vein thrombosis, according to a study published in the Annals of Surgery.

Conclusions of the study were based on data from nearly 40,000 trauma patients, including 803 (2%) who received an IVC filter between 2010 and 2014.

Placement of an IVC filter had no effect on mortality rates for trauma patients, but significantly increase the risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Researchers concluded:

“High rates of prophylactic IVC filter placement have no effect on reducing trauma patient mortality and are associated with an increase in DVT events.”

DVT occurs when blood clots form deep inside the body, usually the lower legs or thigh. They can grow very large and damage veins, obstruct circulation, or break loose and cause organ damage or death.

Researcher found that hospitals varied widely in their use of IVC filters. However, the filters are generally implanted in patients at risk of pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in the lungs) who cannot use blood-thinning medications.

Pulmonary embolisms can be deadly, but IVC filters also carry significant risks — deep vein thrombosis, filter fracture, embolization of broken components, migration, perforation of the vena cava, organ damage, and more.

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