Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are designed to capture blood clots before they enter the lungs. The filter is designed for patients who are unable to take anticoagulants (blood thinners). The filter captures the clots in the blood stream, and over time, the clots dissolve.
The filter is most commonly manufactured by medical manufacturers C.R. Bard and Cook Medical. According to the manufacturer, these filters have been used since the 1960s. While IVC filters have proven a life-saving device for patients with limited treatment options, they come with a host of risks, which we now know are preventable with timely removal of the device.
Former recipients of retrievable IVC filters have filed claims against the manufacturers for poor design, poor manufacturing and failure to warn of risks. If a filter is faulty, it can puncture the patient’s veins or organs, or the filter can break apart, allowing the fragments to migrate throughout the body and cause complications.
In 2010, the FDA warned the retrievable filters posed risks of filter fracture, device migration and organ perforation and should be removed as soon as the patient’s risk for blood clots subsided. In 2014, the FDA specified this warning, stating “most devices should be removed between the 29th and 54th day after implantation.”
Patients began filing lawsuits in 2012, and in 2014 over 100 cases were consolidated to Federal court in Indiana.
In August 2005, a patient named Kevin Phillips was implanted with an IVC filter system, a filter only intended for short-term protection against blood clots. The device broke apart and migrated in 2010, causing Mr. Phillips to sustain injuries and endure a long recovery. The manufacturers and Mr. Phillips reached a confidential settlement.
If you or someone you love has been injured by an IVC Filter, contact ChurchWyble, P.C. for a free consultation.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.