Inferior vena cava filters, also known as IVC filters, are devices implanted into the inferior vena cava artery to help prevent blood clots from reaching the brain or lungs. Many of these blood clots begin in the lower body and migrate to either the brain or the lungs, causing stroke and in some cases death. The IVC filter helps to prevent these clots from causing these complications. However, they are not without risk.
Nearly 400 lawsuits have been filed against various manufacturers of IVC filters. These lawsuits came following failures of the devices after implantation. Currently, there are two multi-district litigations concerning these filters in the United States. 289 of these lawsuits are against Cook Medical and have been consolidated into MDL 2570. A further 93 lawsuits against Bard which have been consolidated into MDL 2641.
Many patients who have had the IVC filters implanted have suffered injury and complications due to the filter’s failure. Some of these have been catastrophic in nature: parts of the filters have broken free and migrated to other organs or perforated veins. In some cases, pieces of the filter have come to rest in the heart itself. Other times, the pieces of the filter become so deeply embedded into organ tissue that retrieval of the filter is impossible.
Plaintiffs in the lawsuits allege that the manufacturers of the filters were aware of these risks and did not share these risks with consumers or medical practitioners.
A study published in the January 2013 edition of JAMA found that fewer than 10 percent of retrievable filters are ever successfully retrieved. Patients who have had IVC filters in place for more than the recommended time, which the FDA says is 29 to 54 days, are at risk for further complications.
If you have suffered injury or complications due to the implantation of an IVC filter, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of John Foy & Associates. Our “Strong Arm” attorneys will work to get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.