IVC Filter

The damages to the heart and lungs caused by IVC Filters can be deadly

IVC Filters are used in people that are at high risk of a pulmonary embolism, but who are unable to take blood thinners. A pulmonary embolism occurs when major blood vessels in the lungs are blocked. Doctors insert IVC Filters to help prevent embolisms from occurring. The IVC Filter is implanted in the blood vessel and acts as a cage, trapping blood clots before they travel to vital organs and cause life-threatening complications.

Recent studies indicated that 1 out of 4 IVC Filters fail.

Malfunctions of the device include:

  • Device migration – the device may become ineffective or erode in the body, or move from its original placement to elsewhere in the body
  • Device fracture – loose pieces can break off of the device and travel, causing serious injury
  • Perforation of vessel and/or adjacent organs – the device may perforate the veins, heart, and lungs.
  • Tilting of the device – the device may shift causing Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Irremovable device – the inability to retrieve the device

In August 2010, the FDA issued its first safety communication concerning retrievable IVC filters not being removed once the risk of pulmonary embolism subsided. Since 2005 they have received approximately 1000 IVC filter complaints involving migration of the device, detachment of the device components, perforation of the IVC and filter fracture. After the FDA’s safety communication was made public, victims began to file IVC lawsuits against manufacturers.

The manufacturers of these devices include but may not be limited to:

  • Bard
  • Cook
  • Boston Scientific (for Greenfield filters)
  • Johnson & Johnson (retrievable filters)