Unfortunately, some medical devices do not operate as safely as they are marketed, and could lead to significant patient injuries. When doctors and patients begin to notice that medical device compromises the health and wellbeing of patients and argue that manufacturers should have known or did know and failed to warn about the risks, these patients may be entitled to recover compensation through a defective medical device lawsuit.
Identifying the right attorney to help you with such a claim is strongly recommended, if you find yourself in this situation. An IVC filter is a small device that is inserted into the inferior vena cava to prevent and capture blood clots and stopping them before they reach the lungs. Long term use of IVC filters, unfortunately, has been associated with many different serious health issues, including heart problems. This has prompted many individuals to consult with a defective medical device attorney to file an individual or class action lawsuit.
An embolism, also known as a blood clot, can break from the deep veins in the legs. This could be carried to the lungs and the heart, leading to a significant blockage in the pulmonary artery. A pulmonary embolism, which can result from this condition could lead to chest pains, strained breathing or death.
As more patient reports and academic studies emerge about this, some patients are raising questions with their doctors about the safety of IVC filters.
What’s Behind Issues with IVC Filters?
IVC filters were created to capture blood clots and stop them from being able to travel to the lungs. This is a metal device, shaped like a comb that is implanted in the IVC just below the kidneys. This filter when operating properly allows the blood to flow regular through the filter while stopping the blood clot.
Naturally occurring blood thinners over time will help to break down the clot and stopping it from reaching to the lungs could be significant for protecting someone’s life. Individuals who have deep vein thrombosis or who have experienced pulmonary embolisms are usually the ones who are recommended to use IVC filters. The filters are typically designed to be permanent implants.
Safety Concerns About IVC Filters
Although these were originally designed to be permanent, the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, recommended in 2010 that these filters be removed as soon as possible after the risk for pulmonary embolism has dissipated and the patient can go through the removal surgery.
More than a thousand complaints were received by the FDA between 2005 and 2010 from patients who suffered serious issues associated with their IVC filters. Filters in the vein have broken or migrated from their initial position and this has led to perforation of the organs, generating serious risks and body and organ damage for patients. Moving filters can also put the heart at significant risk, including fluid buildup and heart damage. Long term use of these filters can also increase the risk of recurrent pulmonary embolism, thrombosis in the vena cava and deep vein thrombosis.
If you have experienced any of these serious symptoms, get help from a lawyer as soon as possible. You may also need to talk to your doctor about filter removal.
FDA Warnings About Long-Term IVC Filter Use
Although these filters were initially approved by the FDA in 1979, their use has increased tremendously over the past several decades. The significant number of consumer complaints received by the FDA, however, led to a recommendation that these filters be removed from patients as soon as possible. This recommendation was updated in 2014 and suggested that IVC filter removal may be optimal between 29 and 54 days after implantation. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2015, identified that the risks associated with IVC filter long term use may outweigh any health benefits.
IVC Filter Lawsuits
Many patients who have been negatively affected by this dangerous medical device, argue that the manufacturer should have warned them about the risks prior to having it implanted. Consulting with a defective medical device attorney is strongly recommended if you find yourself in this position and need advice about whether or not it makes sense to move forward with a legal case.