An IVC filter acts like a cage that traps blood clots. Placed in the inferior vena cava (the largest vein in the body), this cage-like device prevents DVT and pulmonary embolism. This way, blood clots cannot travel and block arteries in your lungs or heart. While they can provide a life-saving intervention, IVC filters also have severe side effects. In fact, the danger increases the longer the filter is left inside your body. Fortunately, patients experiencing IVC filter problems may qualify for compensation. But before you file your claim, answer these IVC filter questions.
3 IVC Filter Questions to Ask Regarding Migration Complications
Ask your surgeon or doctor these IVC filter questions before filing your claim:
1. Were there structural damages from your IVC filter?
If you’re using an IVC filter, you may encounter the following problems: device migration (does not stay where originally placed), device embolization (components detach from it), perforation (device or fragments puncture organs or veins), and fractures. Often, one problem leads to another. This happened to a comatose 23-year-old woman implanted with an IVC filter. Eight years later, doctors discovered multiple filter pieces in her heart, lungs, and abdomen, causing severe pain. Her case, however, is not unique. Many patients report pain and life-threatening complications from IVC filters as well as pieces migrating throughout the body.
2. Did you develop DVT or PE from your IVC filter?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is serious, and it occurs when a blood clot forms deep within your body. These deep vein clots usually form in your thigh or calf, but other areas are possible. The clots that cause pulmonary embolism (PE) are especially dangerous. PE occurs when blood clots that reach your lungs block a blood vessel (ironically, it’s the very thing your IVC filter should prevent). Various studies show a 40-50% increase in DVT diagnoses after filter insertion. In other words, DVT is a fairly common side effect for IVC filter patients.
3. How long did the filter remain inside your body?
IVC filters are mainly for patients who can’t take blood thinners. IVC filters shouldn’t stay in for more than two months. That’s because the longer they stay in, the more likely you are to suffer adverse effects. However, data shows that IVC filters may stay implanted for years. In some cases, medical professionals don’t attempt removal until after the IVC filter causes internal damage. Dr. Sarosiek at Boston Medical Center explained one reason why doctors don’t remove filters: lack of protocol and follow-up. “Many filters are placed by the trauma surgeons initially when the patient comes for trauma, and then the patients are followed by primary care or some other service, so they’re not followed up properly.”
Many patients report injuries from faulty IVC filters. If your IVC failed to function properly, migrated, or fractured, you may be eligible for compensation. To find out if you may have an IVC filter claim, take our free case review today.