A device designed to save patients from the dangers of blood clots has resulted in serious injury and even death for some patients. Retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are implanted by a vascular surgeon or interventional radiologist to prevent a pulmonary embolism in patients known to have a blood clot in the leg or pelvic region.

Some of the IVC filters have been known to break or travel to other parts of the body. If the filter breaks, fragments can puncture blood vessels or be carried to other parts of the body in the bloodstream, sometimes puncturing organs.

FDA Warnings

The FDA has issued several warnings about IVC filters, yet the devices remain on the market. In a five-year period, the FDA received 921 reports of adverse events from IVC filters.

The latest FDA warning, issued in 2014, urges physicians to remove the IVC filter as soon as the blood clot breaks down and the patient no longer needs protection from a pulmonary embolism.

NBCs article shares a personal story about the device that was supposed to save lives but proved almost fatal.

Risks of Rupture or Migration

The inferior vena cava, where the IVC filter is implanted, is the largest vein in the body. It carries de-oxygenated blood from the lower part of the body to the right atrium of the heart and then to the lungs. If this vein is punctured by the IVC filter, it can be extremely dangerous and sometimes cause death.

Also, the IVC filters have been known to travel to the heart in some patients. This situation requires emergency surgery. In some cases, doctors have not been able to remove the filter or filter fragments once they start traveling through blood vessels.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

If you or a loved one experienced medical complications after implantation of an IVC filter, you might be able to file a lawsuit or qualify for compensation. The attorneys at Ward Black Law have experience protecting client rights in cases of defective medical products. Call us at 1-800-531-9191 or email info@wardblacklaw.com to schedule your free consultation today.