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Complications Caused by IVC Filters

An IVC filter is a small cage-like device that was developed for patients who at risk of a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot travels from the legs or lower body into the lungs. It can then block the pulmonary arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs resulting in difficulty breathing, a heart attack or even death.

Surgeons implant the IVC filter in the inferior vena cava – a large vein which carries blood from the legs and lower body into the heart. The filter is designed to catch blood clots that move from the lower body, preventing them from reaching the lungs. However, when an IVC filter malfunctions, it not only allows these clots to continue to travel to the lungs, but it can also cause many other medical complications.

As of September, 2018 approximately 9,000 lawsuits have been filed alleging that IVC filters perforated or came apart in their bodies, causing pain and serious complications such as:

Also included were complaints that the device manufacturers failed to warn doctors and patients of the complications that may result from IVC use.

IVC Filter Defects

IVC filters may fail in different ways due to different types of product defects. Common concerns and dangers of IVC filter failure include:

Some IVC manufacturers have issued product recalls or have been the subject of product liability lawsuits. These companies include C.R. Bard, Inc. and Cook Medical LLC as well as Johnson & Johnson, B. Braun Medical Devices and more. Upon investigation, it was proven that some of these companies failed to alert both its sales personnel and the medical community that its filters had a high rate of fracture in tests due to different types of product defects. This has led to several class action lawsuits and high profile settlements.

IVC Filters to Be Wary Of

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Medical Device Watch is sponsored by Keefe Law Firm. The medical device approval process in the U.S. allows for the sale of some devices that have not been tested in clinical trials on humans. Our goal is to help people protect themselves from the physical, emotional and financial harm that can be caused by medical devices that are defective.


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