A Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a dangerous blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs. Blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or other parts of the body cause this life threatening condition. Several medical device manufacturers developed blood clot filters, called Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters to surgically place in patients to prevent PE’s. Unfortunately, defects in the design of these blood clot filters cause serious injuries by tilting, or fracturing and migrating to other organs in the body. By 2010, the Federal Drug Administration had received almost 1,000 complaints that these defective devices had caused serious injuries, such as PE’s, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), and punctures of the heart and lungs.
The recommendations of IVC filter Manufacturers as to the period of time an IVC filter should stay in the body vary. However, a growing number of scientific research studies have confirmed that the longer an IVC filter stays in the body, the greater the risk of injury. Based on this scientific evidence, the FDA now recommends that temporary IVC filters should be removed within the first few months of being placed.
Last year, additional research published by the American College of Cardiology highlighted and confirmed some of the problems associated with the use of IVC filters. Their study found that IVC devices intended to be temporary have low retrieval rates and are being placed more frequently than they should be. For some groups of patients, the research showed the retrieval rate to be as low as 30%. The American College of Cardiology concluded that because we now know about the common complications caused by IVC filters, strict criteria for patients receiving these devices should be implemented.
This summer, research findings published in the medical journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions added to the disturbing research and conclusions of the American College of Cardiology. The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine conducted a study of IVC filter placements by analyzing the impact of time on IVC filter failure rates. Their results showed that with a placement of seven months or over, a 40% failure rate resulted. These failures were found to cause serious injuries and trigger the need for advanced retrieval solutions.
Victims injured by defective IVC Filters have filed lawsuits against C. R. Bard, Cook Medical, Cordis, and other IVC Filter manufacturers for their failure to adequately warn patients and doctors of the serious problems associated with these devices. As each day passes, new information gathered by the FDA, as well as highly respected professional and academic institutions, adds to the mounting evidence showing that these dangerous products pose potentially serious health risks.
Our experienced lawyers fight for individuals who have been harmed by defective products. If you or a loved one has suffered serious complications after the implantation of an IVC filter, the attorneys at the Yost Legal Group will investigate your lawsuit claim. For a free consultation, please call us at 1-800-YOSTLAW.