Inferior Vena Cava filters (IVC blood clot filters) have been implanted in about 25,000 patients in the United States annually. Many of these filters are effective in preventing life-threatening blood clots from moving into the heart and lungs. However, the FDA issued a warning in 2010 that Inferior Vena Cava filters that are implanted in patients can move or splinter leading to punctured organs and blood vessels. In fact, The Western Journal of Emergency Medicine published that 40% of all IVC filters will fracture within 5.5 years of implantation.
The IVC filters are spider-shaped filters that are implanted in the vena-cava, the largest vein in the body. The purpose of the IVC filter is to trap blood clots before the clots get to the heart and lungs. These filters were designed to be removed once the clot dissipates. However, a Journal of American Medical Association study in 2013 followed 952 patients using the IVC filters and found that only 58 were removed. The health concern is that IVC filters can migrate or fracture while in use. The filters or pieces of the filters may end up traveling to the heart or lungs or other parts of the body and pierce vital organs or become trapped, making removal of the filters risky or unfeasible. Studies have shown that the likelihood of parts fracturing and filter migration increased the longer the filter stayed in the body. The risks can be fatal.
Inferior Vena Cava Filters may potentially cause major health concerns ranging from internal bleeding to death. If you feel that you or a loved one has suffered major health complications as the result of an IVC filter, you should contact an attorney. Brett Oppenheimer is based in Louisville, Kentucky and will meet with you and advise you on your potential claim.