IVC Filters
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IVC Filters

Recent legal allegations made against manufacturers of IVC filters state that the manufacturers of the medical device were negligent and failed to report the known risks and side effects associated with retrievable IVC filters to physicians and their patients. Allegations include the accusation that one manufacturer may have forged the signature of an FDA employee in order to gain FDA approval on its product. This incompetence has resulted in over 300 injuries and at least 30 reported deaths. As a result, a growing number of patients are filing IVC filter lawsuits.

Devices most commonly involved in an IVC filter lawsuit include:

  • Bard Recovery filter
  • Bard G2 filter
  • Bard G2 Express
  • Bard Meridian
  • Bard Denali
  • Bard Eclipse
  • The Cook Gunther Tulip filter
  • Cook Celect® filter

Filing an IVC filter lawsuit is complicated. It requires the knowledge and experience of a legal team that has spent years fighting medical device manufacturing companies. The IVC filter attorneys at the Bryant Law Center treat every lawsuit as a unique case. We listen to the concerns of each client, and find solutions that are in the best interest of our clients. It is our job to help victims file lawsuits in order to get them the money they deserve for their injuries.

Are You Eligible to File an IVC Filter Lawsuit?

While the FDA warnings are an improvement, the warnings were issued too late for some patients implanted with a retrievable IVC filter. These patients may be eligible to file an IVC filter lawsuit against a medical device manufacturer. If you have been injured as a result of having an IVC filter implanted, or if you believe the death of your loved one was caused by an IVC filter and could have been prevented, don’t wait to file your lawsuit with an IVC filter attorney. Every state has different statutes of limitations on when a lawsuit can be filed. Don’t miss your window of opportunity to fight back against negligent medical device manufacturers who are to blame for your injury or who should be held responsible for the death of someone you love.

Filing an IVC Filter Lawsuit

Medical device manufacturers have a history of focusing more attention on their profits than they have on the long-term needs of the consumers who use their products. At Bryant Law Center our attorneys believe enough is enough. It’s time to file an IVC filter lawsuit to fight these injustices and hold responsible those medical device companies that have profited from the sale of these faulty retrievable IVC filters to innocent consumers.

While multiple IVC filter lawsuits have been filed all over the country, it is still early in the litigation process. Suits against medical device manufacturers can take several years and many hours of an attorney’s time to determine the cause of the plaintiff’s injury and to discover how the problems could have been prevented.

Many times several lawsuits will be grouped together against a medical device manufacturer and presented to a jury as a large group settlement. This provides IVC filter attorneys with more resources and information for discovery and investigation.

While these lawsuits are grouped together, this is not a Class Action Lawsuit. This is called a multi-district litigation (MDL). The individuals who file suit in an MDL are not obligated to settle their case. Each suit is handled as a separate case. This means that the plaintiff, the person filing the suit, is able to decide whether to take the case to trial or to agree to an individual settlement.

What is an IVC?

The inferior vena cava, commonly known as IVC, is the largest vein in the human body. It is responsible for transporting blood from the lower body to the heart.

What is a Retrievable IVC Filter?

A retrievable IVC filter is a spider-like medical device that is installed in the inferior vena cava (IVA) in order to capture blood clots and prevent them from entering the heart, lungs or brain. It is most commonly used for patients who have a history of or who are at risk of developing blood clots in their legs. Some patients do not respond well to traditional anticoagulant medications, which are designed to prevent the blood from clotting. These patients often require the installation of a retrievable IVC Filter that serves to block blood clots that form. The filter gives the clots time to break down so that they do not enter the body’s vital organs, causing permanent damage. These filters are intended for temporary use and should not be used in place of a permanent IVC filter.

A variety of medical professionals are responsible for implanting the medical device and for managing the long term care of patients who use a retrievable IVC filter. These include interventional radiologists, interventional cardiologists, vascular surgeons, emergency room physicians who specialize in trauma, bariatric surgeons, orthopedic surgeons and primary care physicians.

What Medical Conditions Can IVC Filters Be Used to Help?

Retrievable IVC filters can be used as a temporary method to help those patients who have been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and who are at high risk for developing pulmonary embolism (PE). PE is a sudden blockage in the artery of a lung. It is typically caused by a blood clot that has formed in an individual’s leg. The clot then breaks away and travels through the bloodstream to the lung. PE is a serious condition that can lead to permanent lung damage.

Side Effects of IVC Filters

While most medical devices carry risks, the side effects of the retrievable IVC filter were not made clear to physicians and their patients early on. Filters have been known to break apart or fracture, which means that broken pieces of the device travel through the bloodstream, sometimes puncturing the inferior vena cava (IVC) or the organs. This can lead to long-term organ damage and in severe cases even death.

Filters can fall out of place, causing them to be ineffective in preventing blood clots from reaching the heart, lungs and brain. Sometimes blood clots have been known to form at the location where the filter has been installed, which means that they can actually cause the problems they were designed to solve.

Known side effects of a retrievable IVC filter placement include:

Lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
IVC occlusion, leading to significant physical disabilities
Filter perforations, most frequently puncturing the heart or lungs. Filters have also been known to puncture the IVC.
Filter migrations
Filter fractures
In extreme cases, the retrievable IVC filter can lead to hemorrhaging or severe bleeding, stroke, pulmonary embolism and even death.

Common symptoms include:

Chest pain
Heart rhythm problems
Neck pain
Shortness of breath
Hemorrhaging or internal bleeding
In severe cases, faulty IVC filters can lead to death, hemorrhaging or severe bleeding, pulmonary embolism and stroke.

Medical Findings and Research on IVC Filters

In 2012, Cardiovasc Intervent Radiology reported that at least one IVC filter perforation was observed in 86% of filters when viewed on CT scans done between 1 and 880 days after the filter was placed. The research found that all filters showed some form of vena caval perforation after 71 days, indicating that the process may be progressive. Filter tilt was observed in 40% of filters, all of which showed signs of vena caval perforation. Transjugular removal was attempted in 24% of the filters and 92% of those removals was successful. More details of their findings can be found at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21448771
The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology determined that follow up imaging after the implantation of IVC filters should be conducted. According to their study, filter retrieval proved successful most of the time. http://www.jvir.org/article/S1051-0443(08)00890-7/abstract
FDA Warnings about IVC FIlters

As the placement of IVC filters has increased dramatically in the last 30 years, the FDA has taken a closer look at the side effects and uses of such medical devices. To date they have issued two warnings related to IVC filters.

2010: The FDA alerted the public of the 921 reports of complications that resulted from the placement of IVC filters.
2014: They recommended that the medical device be removed between 29 and 54 days after the IVC filter was placed.
The FDA recommends that these retrievable devices be used as a temporary solution to prevent blood clots from traveling through the bloodstream to the heart, lungs and brain. They should be used only when a patient is not eligible to take anticoagulant medication to manage blood clots.

In order to reduce the risk of filter perforation, filter migration, filter fractures and other related side effects associated with the placement of IVC filters, the FDA also indicates that IVC filters should be removed as soon as the patient is no longer at risk of pulmonary emulsion (PE) and at a time when it is clinically feasible to do so.

If you believe you have been a victim of the negligence performed by an IVC filter manufacturer, then you have a limited time to file a lawsuit against the medical device company, the marketers and healthcare providers. Time limits vary by state. Contact the Bryant Law Center immediately to arrange a free evaluation of your questions and medical concerns. Simply call or fill out the contact us form and someone from our office will be in touch.