The attorneys at Florin|Roebig are investigating injuries caused to consumers from defective IVC Filters. Reports of complications including organ damage, organ perforation, blood clots (such as deep-vein thrombosis), device migration, and filter fracture appear in lawsuits filed against manufacturers for negligence and failure to warn consumers of the dangers associated with the use of the device.
The inferior vena cava or IVC is a large vein in the abdomen that carries blood from the lower half of the body up to the heart. If a person is at risk of getting a blood clot in the leg or pelvis (a condition known as deep vein thrombosis or DVT), there is a chance that the clot could travel through the IVC to the heart and lungs, resulting in pain, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and even death. Blood thinners have been a conventional form of medical therapy to prevent this life-threatening event, but IVC filters became an alternative for patients with DVT that don’t respond well to blood thinners or cannot successfully be treated by other means.
IVC filters are small metallic filtering devices that are placed in the inferior vena cava to trap any large blood clots that might be moving through the vein towards the heart and lungs. Once only available as permanently implanted devices, newer “retrievable” filters can be optionally removed. Though marketed as life-saving devices that typically require only minimally invasive procedures for placement and removal, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) received nearly 1,000 complaints of serious complications resulting from the use of defective retrievable filters and removal issues between 2005 and 2010.
Reported problems from using IVC filters include:
- Device migration/embolization
- Organ damage
- Organ perforation
- Blood clots (such as DVT)
- Filter fracture
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Pulmonary embolism
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After first approving the device in 1979 as a preventative for life-threatening blood clots in the heart and lungs, the FDA has overseen six significant IVC filter recalls between 2005 and 2015. CORDIS issued two in 2013, associated with labeling issues on its OptEase device, affecting a total of 62,395 units. In 2015, C.R. Bard recalled 1,183 Denali IVC filters, citing missing warnings on the label as the reason.
Amidst the growing number of lawsuits and reports of injuries and deaths caused by IVC filters, the FDA took action in 2009 to release an IVC filter safety communication in 2009, later updating it in 2014.
Several manufacturers have been sued in individual and class-action lawsuits for negligence in producing defective IVC filters and failing to warn consumers about the risks associated with use. As of July 2018, over 8,000 lawsuits are pending against manufacturers C.R. Bard and Cook Medical for defects in the following IVC Filter models:
- Bard Recovery
- Bard G2
- Bard G2 Express
- Cook Celect
- Cook Günther Tulip
Patients have sued other IVC filter makers as well, including CORDIS, among others. In March 2018, a jury in the first C.R. Bard trial found the manufacturer liable, awarding the plaintiff 3.6 Million dollars after she suffered from migration and fracture of her Bard G2 IVC filter (first implanted in 2007) resulting in perforation of her IVC and later heart surgery.
Florin|Roebig is currently accepting IVC filter injury cases from patients throughout the United States. If you or somebody you love has been injured as a result of IVC filter placement or removal, please do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Florin|Roebig for a free case evaluation and consultation by either contacting our office at (800) 226-6581 or by submitting a contact form for a complimentary case evaluation.
If you currently have an IVC filter, you should immediately discuss the health risks with your doctor. Do not stop taking any medication until you have addressed the health risks and benefits of doing so with your physician or healthcare provider.