Inferior vena cava filters can stop blood clots. But in many IVC injury lawsuits, the devices allegedly harmed patients instead. Here are some severe IVC injury claims currently in litigation or awaiting trial.
IVC Complications Lead to Ohio Woman’s Death
In January 2015, an Ohio woman’s family filed a lawsuit against manufacturer Boston Scientific. They claim that after having an IVC filter implanted in 2004, she suffered internal injuries that resulted in death. The IVC filter was originally placed to help control deep vein thrombosis. But the filter soon caused more injuries than it could prevent. The woman suffered a medical emergency while traveling, and it was too late when help finally arrived.
Her family alleges her surgeon didn’t adequately warn her about potential IVC filter injury risks before implantation. In other words, IVC injury dangers recognized by the FDA including migration, fragmentation or even perforated veins. If she had known, she may not have agreed to implantation surgery.
IVC filter side effects—migration, fracturing, and perforation—often occur with devices kept in for too long. Retrievable IVC filters can temporarily reduce embolism risks, but surgeons aren’t removing them in a timely manner. And the longer they stay in place after a recommended window of time, the bigger the potential health risks.
IVC Injury Perforated a Nevada Man’s Heart
In February of 2015—just a month after the Ohio family filed—another plaintiff filed an IVC injury claim. This time, the case arose against manufacturer C.R. Bard, after a man claimed that the manufacturer’s IVC filter caused heart damage that required major surgery. In this case, the Nevada man who suffered the injuries from the filter received a settlement from C.R. Bard. His claim was that the IVC filter had perforated his heart—one of the most severe injuries associated with the filter devices. This perforation required major surgery to repair the damage.
IVC Injury Claims: The Bigger Picture
Between 2005-2010, 146 patients filed IVC filter embolism cases. Nearly 1,000 additional cases cited injuries and complications caused by device failure. The FDA updated IVC injury report information and recommended physician monitoring after implantation. The agency also urged removing devices as quickly as possible after risks subside.
But the FDA issued more warnings in 2014. The FDA’s reported findings came from a study published in The Journal of Vascular Surgery. The study found that failing to remove retrievable IVC filters within 59 days of implantation increased device failure risks. It also increased reported health complications and injuries.
For many patients with retrievable IVC filters implanted, this warning came well after the 59-day period. Many endured complicated removal surgeries. Since 2014, patients have filed thousands of IVC injury claims.
The Future of IVC Filters
At this point, the FDA reports more than a decade of IVC filter failures. As more patients sue manufacturers over IVC filter injuries, surgeons should reconsider implanting them at all. If you suffered an IVC injury, fill out your free compensation evaulation form today.
Jared Heath is the author of The Sound in the Silence. In his role as an SEO content and digital marketing strategist, Jared was directly responsible for managing DrugJustice.com's editorial calendar and published articles on this website from 2015 to 2016. He is now pursuing a new career as a chiropractor.