Medical science is great at identifying risk factors and implementing therapies to prevent problems. But preventative therapies or devices should be tested and safe, especially since they are only addressing a potential problem. Since 2003, many patients facing an increased risk of developing a pulmonary embolism (PE) have been fitted with an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter, a temporary device designed to capture and dissolve blood clots before they can damage the heart and lungs.
Many patients had their IVC filter successfully removed once their risk of pulmonary embolism passed, but in many cases, removal was impossible because the device had broken, moved, imbedded itself, or damaged the surrounding organs or tissue. The likelihood of an IVC filter complication increases with devices from certain manufactures. If you’ve been injured by an IVC filter made by R.C. Bard or Cook Medical, the experienced attorneys at McIntyre Law are ready to help, so contact us today.
IVC filters are implanted when doctors consider a patient to be at an increased risk for having a pulmonary embolism along with other factors, such as being unable to take a blood thinner or anticoagulant. Certain types of cancer and prolonged bed rest also increase the chances of pulmonary embolism and the likelihood that doctors will recommend an IVC filter. A pulmonary embolism occurs when a clot moves through the blood stream, usually originating in the legs, and reaches the heart and lungs. The clot can obstruct or block blood flow through the lungs and put stress on heart valves as they struggle to pump blood. PEs are serious and can cause extremely low blood pressure and even death, but IVC filter complications can be life threatening as well.
IVC filter complications include migration, where the device moves to a different position up or down the bloodstream. The devices may also tilt in a way that greatly reduces their efficiency and makes them impossible to remove. IVC filters have also been reported to fracture and send smaller pieces flowing into the heart, lung, liver, or kidneys. Fractured pieces can then cause perforations to the surrounding tissue and have even been know to damage heart tissue in a way that requires open-heart surgery to repair.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a safety alert and urged physicians to remove IVC filters as soon as a patient’s risk of pulmonary embolism has past. The agency says it has received hundreds of reports of adverse events since 2005, including multiple deaths caused by device migration. Research shows that devices manufactured by R.C. Bard are statistically more likely to fail, so if you’ve been harmed by an ICV filter complication involving Bard or any other manufacturer, contact McIntyre Law today for a consultation.
A number of IVC filter lawsuits have been filed against Bard since 2012 and although some have been settled, most are still pending. If you have or have had an IVC filter, contact your doctor to determine the filter’s manufacturer and model and to discuss your options for safe removal. The following manufacturers and products are currently the focus of investigation and IVC filter lawsuits:
If you’ve been injured by one of these or a filter made by another manufacturer, you may be eligible to participate in an IVC filter lawsuit. Contact McIntyre Law today to learn more about how to get the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve never had an IVC filter implanted you are not eligible to participate in an IVC filter lawsuit. But you should know that numerous other medical devices have caused serious injury and may have even been recalled. The team at McIntyre Law helps people who have been harmed by a number of faulty medical devices. Please see our other medical product information pages to find out if you are affected by a defective or recalled product: