Injured by an IVC Filter?
If you were implanted with an IVC Filter to prevent blood clots and subsequently developed complications, you may wish to explore your legal options.
Recent Settlement Update
March 30, 2018—A female plaintiff was awarded $3.6 million in the first bellwether trial in the U.S. District of Arizona after the device broke apart inside her body. The resulting injuries included her heart being punctured by a metal fragment. This settlement is the first bellwether trial of Bard IVC filters. Nearly 4,000 cases have been filed against manufacturer, C.R. Bard because of the severe complications that some patients experienced after having the IVC filter implanted to prevent blood clots.
About IVC Filters
The purpose of IVC (Inferior Vena Cava) filters is to prevent blood clots from reaching the heart, lungs, and brain. They are surgically placed into the inferior vena cava which is located in the heart. This is the largest vein in the body, moving blood from the legs to the heart, and then into the lungs. IVC Filters are used to prevent serious conditions such as pulmonary embolisms which is a condition preventing normal blood flow to the lungs. Pulmonary embolisms cause somewhere in the range of 300,000 deaths each year.
IVC Filters are beneficial to those who cannot take blood thinners, as it is an alternative way of breaking up blood clots. They have been used since the late 70s with increasing popularity. Two types of IVC filters were developed – retrievable and non-retrievable. The retrievable IVC filters were designed to be removed when the patient no longer needs them. This type is more susceptible to issues such as perforation of organs, migration, and breaking.
In 2010 the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) issued an alert about the dangers associated with retrievable IVC filters. At this time, they received over 1,000 complaints of adverse events relating to these devices. Retrievable IVC filters are meant to be removed once the patient is no longer at risk for a pulmonary embolism. When devices stay in longer than medically necessary, the patient is at an increased risk for the following conditions:
- Perforation of organs
- Device breaking into multiple fragments
- Migration of devices
Further studies have confirmed the initial FDA alert. Certain models have shown to have exceedingly high rates of complications. One model showed device migration in 40% of patients. These types of complications can cause extremely serious health conditions including:
- Chronic severe pain
- Respiratory issues
- Pulmonary embolus
- Emergency device removal
- Cardiac tamponade
You Have Legal Options
If you suffered from complications relating to an IVC filter, you may be entitled to compensation. Several lawsuits have already been successfully filed against device manufacturers. For a free consultation, call 1-800-529-3476.