IVC Filter Side Effects & Related Health Complications
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters help catch blood clots before they can travel throughout the body, causing harm. And according to the Axis Research Mind firm, doctors implant around 200,000 blood clot filters annually. Notably, experts projected market sales of $435 million in 2016. Despite the market’s incredible growth, medical experts say that certain device complications make them “not benign.” In fact, the device’s construction can lead to many unforeseen IVC filter side effects.
Many IVC Filter Side Effects From Device Fragmentation
One of the most dangerous IVC filter side effects occurs when the device’s legs (or “struts”) break off and travel to other parts of the body. These struts give an IVC filter its structure and helps stop blood clots. But when they detach, it causes a range of problems from torn veins to pulmonary embolisms and heart attacks — exactly the types of problems an IVC filter should prevent.
The issues began in 2003 when C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, Inc. first sold retrievable IVC filters. A physician should monitor the device and then remove it after imminent health risks decrease. But the Food and Drug Administration soon received reports of unfortunate IVC filter side effects. In fact, consumers and doctors reported many new IVC filter side effects — some requiring medical treatment and surgery. These health concerns included device migration, fractures, perforation caused by moving parts, and tilting. The FDA discovered many dangerous side effects may be related to the length of time an IVC filter stays implanted within a patient.
IVC Filter Side Effects: Cardiovascular Damage
Additional IVC filter side effects may occur if the device travels, tilts, or breaks apart. NBC News reported at least 27 deaths connected to the C.R. Bard Recovery filter. The report highlights a woman’s story whose filter fractured and then punctured her heart, causing her pulse to stop. She was rushed into open-heart surgery and is lucky to be alive today. This case is just one of hundreds filed by patients seeking justice for IVC filter side effects. Health complications associated with retrievable IVC filters tend to increase over time. The longer an IVC filter remains within the body, the more a patient’s risk of injury also increases.
FDA IVC Filter Safety Report
The FDA released its first IVC filter safety report about extended retrievable IVC filter use in 2010. According to the FDA, patients should remove retrievable IVC filters once the risk of a pulmonary embolism passes or else risk adverse health events. The report states that between 2005 and 2010, the FDA received a total of 921 adverse event reports about IVC filter migration, perforation, detachment, and filter fracture. These adverse events can cause life-threatening complications for patients.
The FDA now suggests doctors closely monitor IVC filter patients while the device remains implanted. Additionally, the FDA recommends IVC filter removal occur between 29-54 days after implantation. When filters stay in place longer than recommended, patients risk serious complications as well as unexpected side effects. In May 2015, the FDA announced they were collecting additional clinical data on all IVC filters currently on the market.
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If you or a loved one suffered health complications from IVC filter side effects, you may qualify for compensation from the device’s manufacturer. Request your free case evaluation now to see if you may qualify.