Severe complications have resulted from IVC filters including organ perforation, punctured veins, and death.
Problems with IVC Filters
Since the introduction of IVC filter in 2005, the FDA has received thousands of adverse reports involving these filters.
Types of reports include device migration, filter fracture, migration, perforation of the inferior vena cava, and difficulty removing the device. Some of these events led to adverse clinical outcomes such as:
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
Emergency removal of device
IVC filter migration
Perforation of tissue, vessels and organs
Shortness of breath
If you or a loved one has an IVC filter and experienced complications, then you may be eligible for financial compensation.
What is an IVC Filter?
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are designed to keep blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs, but they can migrate, fracture, and puncture the inferior vena cava. IVC filters are small, cage-like devices that are inserted into the inferior vena cava to capture blood clots and prevent them from reaching the lungs. The inferior vena cava is the main vessel returning blood from the lower half of the body to the heart. IVC filters are frequently placed in patients at risk for pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lungs) when anticoagulant therapy cannot be used or is ineffective.
Removal of an IVC Filter
Unless there is a very good reason to keep the IVC filter in place, the FDA now recommends the removal of retrievable IVC filters.
According to a safety communication posted by the FDA in August of 2010, IVC filters are intended for short-term placement and have caused risks when left in long term including lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT), filter fracture, filter migration, filter embolization and IVC perforation.
Despite FDA Warnings, Physicians Were Not Removing the Filters.
Researchers discovered only 58 out of 679 (less than 10%) retrievable IVC filters inserted were actually removed. Other results discovered majority of the filters remained in patients longer than medically necessary with the following results:
3 percent failed attempts at removing the filters
8 percent had venous thrombotic events.