IVC Filter Lawsuits: Filter Fracture, Migration
Commonly asked questions about IVC filters:
- What are IVC Filters?
- FDA releases warning about IVC filters
- What are the Criteria for Filing an IVC Filter Lawsuit?
- What are IVC filters used for?
- When are IVC filters implanted?
- What are IVC filter side effects?
- What are the complications of IVC filter side effects?
- Can Legal Action Be Taken Against IVC Filters?
- Can I File An IVC Filter Lawsuit?
- How do I start an IVC filter claim?
What Are IVC Filters?
Inferior vena cava filters, or IVC filters, are medical devices that are surgically implanted into patients who are unable to take blood thinning medications.
While touted as a safe, near pain-free method of combating blood clots, it has been discovered that many patients implanted with the device suffered from debilitating health complications as a result.
These discoveries have been substantiated by multiple U.S. Food and Drug Administration device safety communications warning consumers of the health risks posed by varying models of IVC filters. The first of these communications occurred in 2010 as the FDA warned that filters should be removed immediately after the threat of clots subsided.
FDA Releases Warning About IVC Filters
However, in 2014 the FDA revised their warning, this time stating that all filters should be removed between the 29th and 54th day to minimize the risk of life-threatening complications. Although prompt, the communications came too late for many consumers who had already been subjected to health complications relating to the failure of an IVC device.
Many of these consumers have since sought legal action against the manufacturer of their respective IVC filter model. The two main manufacturers in this market being named as defendants in these cases are the Cook Group and C.R. Bard, Inc. Both of these companies are among the largest medical technology companies in the world and have vehemently denied that their products cause the health complications claimed in lawsuits.
What are the Criteria for Filing an IVC Filter Lawsuit?
Retrievable IVC filters are wire devices implanted in the vena cava, the body’s largest vein, to stop blood clots from reaching the heart and lungs. These devices are used when blood thinners are not an option.
Manufacturers include Bard, Cook and Johnson & Johnson.
While permanent IVC filters have been used since the 1960s with almost no reports of failure, retrievable IVC filters were introduced in 2003, promoted for use in bariatric surgery, trauma surgery and orthopedic surgery.
Risks associated with the retrievable IVC filters include migration, fracture and perforation, leading to embolism, organ damage and wrongful death.
Any patient who received a Bard or Cook IVC filter implant and matches any of the following criteria is eligible to file an IVC filter lawsuit:
- IVC filter fractured or failed
- Removal or replacement of the filter was required because of the danger of fracture/failure
- IVC filter migrated or became dislodged from its original placement point
- A physician recommended removal but the filter could not be removed due to risk of further injury
What Are IVC Filters Used For?
IVC filters were designed to break up the development of blood-clots to ensure that the risk of embolism would be reduced or eliminated in the individual implanted with the device. When introduced to the market, the filters were touted as a safe alternative for those whose blood thinning medications were not showing the desired level of effectiveness.
Medical professionals implant the device when it has been determined that the risk for recurrent pulmonary embolisms is too great to rely on drugs or delay further treatment. Some of the most common instances of this situation includes the prevention of pulmonary thromboembolism when anticoagulant therapy is contraindicated.
Beyond the aforementioned instance, IVC’s are typically used whenever any form of anticoagulant therapy has failed to prevent any form of thromboembolic disease. In addition to serving as a direct replacement for anticoagulant therapy, IVC filters are also used for emergency treatment following massive pulmonary embolisms in which the need for an immediate solution renders drugs innefective.
When Are IVC Filters Implanted?
In addition to situations of pressing medical need, there are also several instances in which events, surgery, or consumer habits require the implantation of an IVC filter.
A common situation that requires an IVC implant is an at-risk individual suffering from extreme trauma. IVC filters are necessary in trauma affected consumers as an immediate method of pulmonary embolism prevention is needed.
Other occasions that call for the implantation of IVC filters include:
- Convalescence Following Surgery
- Inability To Take Anticoagulants
- Recurring DVT/PE Due To Genetics
- Poor Compliance With Anticoagulants
What Are IVC Filter Side Effects?
While IVC filters are used to provide immediate aid to consumers, they have been linked to several dangerous types of device failure that can lead to potentially life-threatening health complications.
One of the most common complications associated with IVC filters is a piece of the device fracturing from the filter’s main body which can then move through areas of the body causing damage to organs and arteries. In addition to wreaking havoc on vulnerable parts of the body, a filter fracture will also result in the main body of the filter becoming unable to adequately perform its job.
A severe filter fracture can culminate in the main body of the filter breaking away from the original site of implantation and migrating to another location in the body. While the health complications caused by a filter fracture or migration are the same, it is important to understand that a fracture does not always precede a filter migration. There have been reports indicating that faulty implantation or total device failure can also cause an IVC filter to migrate through the body.
What Are The Complications Of IVC Filter Side Effects?
Both of these common issues regarding IVC filters can lead to the most dangerous of heath complications – perforation. IVC filters are implanted into the inferior vena cava, the main supplier of blood from the heart to the lower body. When a device fractures or migrates, the stray piece or main body can alter position in such a way that it perforates an artery wall.
Perforation occurring in any area of the vena cava can have disastrous consequences caused by the subsequent internal bleeding. Those who suffer from this development must seek immediate medical attention to prevent life-threatening complications from developing.
The previously mentioned complications are the most commonly reported issues associated with IVC filters, additional complications include:
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Deep Vein Thrombosis
- Caval Thrombosis/Occlusion
- Stenosis At Implant Site
- Venous Ulceration
- Organ Injury
- Back/Abdominal Pain
Can Legal Action Be Taken Against IVC Filters?
With over two million IVC filters implanted in consumers since 2005, thousands of unsuspecting consumers could have suffered from IVC filter related health complications. As more information has been released regarding these complications, consumers have begun to come forward with the knowledge that they were the victims of IVC device failure.
In response to the massive number of lawsuits filled, a federal judicial panel ruled that IVC filter lawsuits would be consolidated under multidistrict litigation to streamline the lawsuit process. With this decision, all lawsuits brought against Cook Medical will be consolidated to the Southern District of Indiana while all lawsuits brought against Bard Medical will be consolidated in the District of Arizona.
While pre-trial matters are consolidated before one federal judge, lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation must still stand on its own merit in court or settlement negotiations. As the legal process continues, more information will be known regarding total case numbers, trial dates, and settlement offers but as of July 2016, much of this is still undecided.
TV Commercial About IVC Filter Lawsuits
Can I File An IVC Filter Lawsuit?
Our IVC filter perforation lawyers can help if you or someone you care about was harmed by an IVC filter. Lawsuits have been filed against the device makers by both patients and their families seeking compensation for injuries caused. You may be entitled to a settlement. We do not charge any legal fees unless you receive a settlement and we pay all of the case costs. If your claim is not successful for any reason, you do not owe us anything. We put it all in writing for you. Our lawyers will help you file your lawsuit.
Our No Fee Promise on IVC Filter Cases
You can afford to have our great team of lawyers on your side. When you choose us, it literally costs nothing to get started. We promise you in writing:
- No money to get started
- We pay all case costs and expenses
- No legal fees whatsoever unless you receive an IVC filter settlement
- Phone calls are always free.
How Do I Start An IVC Filter Claim?
Our IVC filter lawyers will help you file your lawsuit. To get started, you can:
- Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page, or
- Call (866) 280-3417 any time of day to tell us about your case.
We will listen to your story and answer your questions. If you have claim, we will start immediately.
WARNING: There are strict time deadlines for filing IVC filter lawsuit claims.