Receiving a diagnosis for a potentially fatal blood clot can be a major shock. Medication is usually prescribed to treat these dangerous clots. In some cases, however, medication just doesn’t work to break up the clots, and a doctor might prescribe the use of an IVC filter. This device is implanted in your body and acts as a trap to isolate the clot and keep it from causing serious harm. Unfortunately, there have been many cases IVC filters causing serious harm.
What Exactly Is An IVC Filter?
IVC is an acronym that means inferior vena cava. It is a large vein that transports deoxygenated blood. In order to prevent harm caused by pulmonary embolism, medical device manufacturers invented a small filter that is implanted in the patient’s body. A pulmonary embolism is a medical condition that consists of a blockage of one of the pulmonary arteries in your lungs. They most often occur as a result of a blood clot traveling up the bloodstream into the lungs. IVC filters trap the clots and keep them from entering the lungs. As with anything foreign in the body, the potential for problems is high, and there have been serious injuries incurred from use of these filters.
IVC filters are not new to the medical field as they have been in use for almost 50 years. Many manufacturers make these types of devices, which have all been approved by the FDA. However, the FDA has also documented over 1,000 cases of adverse reactions to their use and, to date, 27 fatalities have been recorded as well as over 300 injuries. Common risk groups are patients that have not had the filter removed once the risk of pulmonary embolism has been treated. These devices are for short term use only.
Hazardous Side Effects of IVC Filters
It is true that IVC filters may indeed prevent pulmonary embolisms in select patients, but not all patients are as fortunate. There are multiple risks that are linked with IVC filters, including but not limited to:
- The filter can shift within the body, causing harm if the blood clot is able to slip past it.
- The filter can disintegrate within the body, allowing the clots to pass.
- The filter or filter parts can travel too close to the heart or lung which reduces their the ability to trap a clot.
- The filter can sever the inferior vena cava.
- The filter can be hard to remove and cause damage during removal.
Unfortunately, manufacturers of IVC filters, such as Bard, may have failed to give sufficient warning to IVC filter users about these dangerous side effects. Bard has been sued for negligence and other serious allegations in current lawsuits.
The personal injury attorneys at Ramji & Associates help patients who have been harmed by dangerous drugs and medical devices in Texas. Call us at 888-630-9898.