Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters can help prevent pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism occurs when blood clots travel throughout the body to the lungs. Of course, this condition can be life-threatening. However, a cage-like IVC filter can trap blood clots before they reach vital organs. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, doctors implant around 200,000 blood clot filters each year within pulmonary embolism patients. The filters have their own risks, however, as many people learn after having one put in.
IVC Filter Complications
In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a retrievable IVC filter safety communication. The FDA’s communication noted receiving 921 adverse effect reports related to IVC filter implantation, including:
- 328 device migrations
- 146 device component detachment instances
- 70 IVC perforation injury cases
- 56 filter fracture occurrences
Due to injuries associated with malfunctioning IVC filters, many patients needed surgical device fragment removal.
Life-Threatening Complications Grow Riskier Over Time
Retrievable IVC filters are for short-term use only. However, with their known complications, many patients failed to remove them after pulmonary embolism risks diminished. Long-term filter use carries significantly higher risks, including lower-limb deep vein thrombosis as well as other complications listed above. In fact, these life-threatening complications caused many patients to eventually file lawsuits against manufacturers Cook Medical Inc. and C.R. Bard.
In 2014, patients filed 100 lawsuits against Cook Medical, alleging the company knowingly sold defective IVC filters. Since many were quite similar, all lawsuits were consolidated under a multidistrict litigation (MDL). This MDL centralizes cases within the Southern District of Indiana, near Cook Medical’s headquarters.
Currently, claims filed against Cook Medical aren’t alone in moving toward MDL consolidation. Plaintiffs in C.R. Bard lawsuits requested transfers to either Texas or Nevada for consolidation, Harris Martin Publishing reported. If approved, the motion consolidates 36 actions filed across 29 different federal courts. MDL centralization helps courts process complicated cases more efficiently. The Daily Journal noted that MDL proceedings are useful for consistency among similar cases that wouldn’t exist if discovery matters occurred individually in separate courts.
Have You Been Injured by an IVC Filter?
IVC filter side effects can be life-threatening, causing debilitating injuries. If either you or a loved one received a defective IVC filter, you may file a claim for the compensation you deserve. Speak to an attorney about your IVC filter claim potential today. An attorney can see if you may qualify for financial compensation from the device’s manufacturer.
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.