IVC Filter Migration
Implanted inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters were designed to prevent a buildup of blood clots in the body by catching them before they are able to reach the heart. These filters are used by those who are unable to take standard blood thinning medication for medical or practical reasons.
While the filters are exceptionally effective at preventing the buildup of blood clots when functioning properly, they are prone to experiencing device failure. When a filter fails, the device will not function properly and blood clots will be free to accumulate in arteries.
IVC filter implant rates have skyrocketed over the last three decades with over two million consumers implanted with a filter in the previous decade alone. With so many consumers effected by the device, the discovery of any common health complication is cause for concern as thousands of consumers may be subjected to its devastating effects.
While the exact magnitude of IVC filter migration is unknown, FDA and medical research reports suggest that migration is a common occurrence in implanted individuals. As more information is discovered regarding the commonality of IVC filter migration, the medical community will gain a greater ability to understand the true impact of IVC filter migrations.
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 fracture, perforation and migration, leading to embolism, organ damage and wrongful death.
What Is IVC Filter Migration?
IVC filter migration occurs when the device is unable to remain stable in the original site of implantation and begins to move to other locations in the vena cava or body. Filter fracture is often cited as one of the most common reasons filter migration occurs.
This is because a wire used to provide device stability is often the victim of a device fracture. When one of these wires is separated from the main body of the device, the device may no longer have the structural integrity to retain stability. Additionally, some reports have suggested that migration may occur in some consumers because of faulty filter designs.
Regardless of the method in which an IVC filter loses stability, once it has broken free from the original site of implantation it will begin migrating to areas of the body unable to handle the presence of the device.
Are There FDA IVC Filter Migration Warnings?
Over the last decade, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has fielded a large number of consumer reports indicating the occurrence of IVC filter migrations. After extensive investigation into the hundreds of filed reports, the FDA determined that more precautions must be applied to filter implantation and removal.
This determination culminated in a 2010 safety communication in which the FDA stated that all IVC devices should be promptly removed “as soon as protection from PE is no longer needed.” In addition to informing medical professionals of the need to remove the device as soon as possible, the communication also suggested that physicians put more consideration into the risks and benefits of IVC use.
Although many medical professionals and consumers followed the instructions laid out by the safety communication, reports of filter migrations were still be submitted to the FDA. With reports still being steadily filed, the FDA re-examined their IVC filter statements and determined that a policy update must be issued.
The update came in the form of an additional FDA safety communication in 2014 which served as a direct update to the previous 2010 IVC filter communication. The communication’s purpose was not to notify the public of additional safety risks but rather, to raise awareness and warning for previously identified health risks.
Raising awareness for complications, which include filter migration, was executed by setting a firm time frame in which all IVC filters should be removed from the body. The communication determined that all IVC filters should be removed “between 29 and 54 days after implantation.” However, because there is still more research to be done, the FDA determined that additional clinical IVC filter data needed to be gathered to further increase their ability to adequately respond to IVC health risks.
What Can An IVC Filter Migration Cause?
The migration of an IVC filter will often cause a variety of health complications which if left untreated can become life-threatening. One of the deadliest and most common results of device migration is the perforation of the vena cava artery.
The vena cava is the primary artery responsible for the flow of blood from the heart to the lower body. Because of the importance of this artery, the migration of a device poses an immense risk to consumers. Artery walls are not able to withstand a filter flowing through them, leading to the perforation of the walls by the devices stability wires.
If the walls are perforated, the consumer may experience excessive internal bleeding that requires immediate medical attention to prevent the condition from experiencing a fatal development.
However, the perforation of the vena cava isn’t the only risk associated with IVC filter migration. Perforation of organs have also been reported to occur when a piece or the body of an IVC filter begin migrating away from the site of implantation.
Can I File An IVC Filter Lawsuit?
Our dangerous device attorneys 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 a 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.