How many of you are familiar with Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters? If you’ve ever been at risk of pulmonary embolism or other problems associated with blood clots, you’ve heard of these devices. Used since the late 1960’s, IVC filters are designed to prevent pulmonary embolism and to stop blood clots from traveling from the veins of the legs or pelvis to arteries in the lungs and heart. However, they have been marketed and used off-label throughout the years, resulting in serious patient injury and even death. IVC filters are supposed to protect patients from dangerous blood clots and related issues; but these devices are actually extremely deadly on their own. There are several different types of IVC filters – including the Bard Recovery filter, Bard G2 filter, and the Bard G2 Express filter.
Recently, studies have indicated that shards in the filter can break and cause irreversible damage to the patient, such as a stroke or worse. In the event an IVC filter malfunctions, the patient may be at risk of sustaining serious, potentially fatal injuries. This is where personal injury lawyers from Atkins & Markoff come in. Our attorneys have been following the various IVC filter lawsuit cases throughout the country and are prepared to fight for your rights. If you or a loved one has had to deal with complications due to a malfunctioning IVC filter, please contact our law office today. We will fight for your rights and do everything we can to hold those responsible accountable for their actions.
History of IVC Filters
In the early 1990’s, these filters began to be seen in the form of permanent implants and were nearly free of any complications. However, over the last 10 years a handful of medical device companies developed an optional retrievable IVC filter that was used to target a different demographic. The sales of IVC filters quickly tripled to nearly $300 million annually, as they were being sold to physicians off label and used on patients who were only in need of temporary relief. While it may seem like there is nothing wrong with this at first glance, more than 85 percent of these implanted IVC filters were never retrieved, meaning they were basically used as permanent filters. Fast forward to today, where the FDA and researchers have learned about the serious adverse reactions that many people have had due to IVC filters that were left in, when they should have been removed long ago. In fact, the FDA recently issued a warning regarding the safety of IVC filters after numerous reports of life threatening device-related complications and deaths.
Here are a few additional shocking statistics regarding malfunctioning IVC filters:
- A recent study headed by the New England Society for Vascular Surgery found that there was a 31 percent fracture rate in IVC filters. Furthermore, most of the splinters found their way into the right ventricle of the patient’s heart
- In another study, it was uncovered that some 25 percent of patients sustained damage to an end organ – such as the heart, lungs, or hepatic vein – when the splinter broke off
Lawsuits have been filed throughout the country against the manufacturer of IVC filters – such as Bard – claiming that a manufacturing defect was the reason for the filters to work improperly. If you fall under this category, please contact Atkins & Markoff today.
Understanding the Risks
Some of the top risks associated with the use of an IVC filter include the following:
- IVC filter migration
- IVC filter fracture
- IVC filter perforation
- Tilting of the IVC filter
- The inability to retrieve the IVC filter
- Pulmonary embolism
More than 100,000 IVC filters have been in use since the 1960’s. If you or a loved one has been injured because of a malfunctioning IVC filter, please contact Atkins & Markoff today. Our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers understand how emotionally damaging these types of cases can be, which is why we are ready to do everything we can to ensure justice is served.