Inferior vena cava filters are cage-like devices implanted to prevent pulmonary embolisms, life-threatening blot clots in the lungs. The filters are supposed to catch blood clots traveling from the lower body (e.g., the legs) to the heart, and thereby prevent the clots from reaching the lungs. IVC filters are often implanted in patients with or at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition where blood clots form in the veins of the lower body.
The safety of IVC filters in not well established. Therefore, IVC filters are only FDA-approved for implantation in patients who cannot take anticoagulants to prevent clots or who have recurrent blood clots. However, doctors frequently implant IVC filters in patients who could be prescribed anticoagulants or do not have a recurrent blood clot problem. This has led to a rapid increase in the implantation of IVC filters.
Studies and reports have shown that retrievable IVC filters can be very dangerous and harm patients. The filters can break letting parts move to different parts of the body, damaging the heart or the lungs. They can also clog and prevent blood flow to the heart, pierce the inferior vena cava causing internal bleeding, or move around inside the vena cava. Studies have also found that IVC filters often do not actually prevent pulmonary embolisms and can instead increase the risk that the patient will develop dangerous recurrent blood clots.
Although most IVC filters are designed to be removable, experience has shown that often they cannot be removed or break during the removal process causing harm. This can result in injury and hospitalization for the patient.
We Can Tell You If You Have an Inferior Vena Cava Filter Claim and Help You Pursue Compensation, with No Cost to You
If you or a loved one were injured by a complication related to an inferior vena cava filter, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.
The IVC filter lawyers at Borri Law Offices offer free case consultations and can file a lawsuit on your behalf if you have a claim. Call us or submit the contact form on the bottom of the page, to speak to a lawyer about your case.
FDA Says Most IVC Filters Should Be Removed – But Most Filters Are Not Removed, Increasing Risk of Injury to the Patient?
Since 2000, most IVC filters sold in the U.S. are so-called retrievable filters. Manufacturers selling retrievable IVC filters generally claim that the filters can either be removed or left in the patient permanently. The manufacturers say removal of the filter is optional. The manufacturers also claim that the IVC filters can be easily removed with a simple surgery using removal kits supplied by the company.
However, studies have shown that few IVC filters are removed (one study found the retrieval rate to be lower than 9%) and the longer the filters are left in the patient the more difficult they are to remove and the greater the danger of an injury due to fracture, migration, development of recurrent blood clots, and clogging of the filter.
In 2014, the FDA warned doctors that they should consider removing IVC filters from patients and that the optimal time for removal is probably between one and two months after implantation.
FDA Warns of Serious IVC Filter Injuries
In August 2010 the FDA announced that between 2005 and 2010, the agency received 921 adverse event reports related to IVC filters. The most common reported IVC filter complications were device migration, embolizations (detachment of device components), perforation of the IVC, and caval filter fracture.
In May 2014, the FDA again warned of the dangers of IVC filters, and additionally reported that “if the patient’s transient risk for pulmonary embolism has passed, the risk/benefit profile begins to favor removal of the IVC filter between 29 and 54 days after” IVC filter placement.
IVC Filter Recall
In March 2013, the FDA issued a class I recall for 33,000 units of the Cordis OptEase Filter. The recall was issued over concerns that unclear labeling could lead to the vena cava filter being implanted backwards.
Studies of IVC Filters Find Dangers, Injuries and Defects
Many studies have found that longer indwelling time of retrievable IVC filters leads to higher rates of complications. A study published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery in 2013 found that “indwelling retrievable IVC filters were associated with significantly higher complication rates than permanent filters,” and recommended that “long-term use of retrievable filters should be avoided.”
Other studies have found several models of retrievable IVC filters to be particularly dangerous. A 2010 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found the Bard Recovery Filter to have a 25% fracture rate, and the Bard G2 Filter to have a 12% fracture rate.
In 2005, a study in the Journal of Trauma found that removal of the Cordis OptEase Filter is not possible after 14 days because of “strut protrusion through the [vena cava] wall.” A 2013 study in the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology found the Günther Tulip Filter to have a 43% rate of IVC perforation, and the Celect Filter to have a 49% rate of IVC perforation.
Studies have also found certain permanent filters to be defective and dangerous. A 2012 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found the permanent Cordis TrapEase Filter to have a 50% fracture rate.
Names of IVC Filters Implanted in Patients
Many manufacturers have sold retrievable and permanent IVC filters to surgeons for implantation. Some of the manufacturers and their products are listed below. (Call us to find out about your IVC filter):
- C.R. Bard
- Recovery Filter
- G2 Filter
- G2 Express Filter
- Meridian Filter
- Eclipse Filter
- Cook Medical
- Günther Tulip Filter
- Celect Filter
- OptEase Filter
- TrapEase Filter
- B. Braun Medical
- Tempofilter II
Is There an IVC Filter Class Action Lawsuit?
There is no IVC filter class action lawsuit. Patients injured by IVC filters file individual lawsuits. Our lawyers will help you decide if you have a claim for compensation, and prepare, file and prosecute a lawsuit on your behalf if warranted. Call the Borri Law IVC filter lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation.
Do I Have an IVC Filter Lawsuit?
Borri Law Offices is accepting IVC Filter cases. If you or someone you love are suffering pain or complications from an IVC filter, you should contact us today. For a free consultation about your case, call us toll-free at 888-767-6565, or fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page and one of our lawyers will contact you.