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IVC Filter Maker the Target of Multiple Injury Claims

Product defect

Inferior Vena Cava, or “IVC” filters, are advertised as a way to save lives by preventing blood clots from traveling through a patient’s body where they can cause stroke or death. Unfortunately, the devices themselves have threatened many lives, resulting in thousands of claims for money damages against the manufacturers of these devices. With the filing of three more lawsuits alleging serious harm suffered by recipients of IVC filters, it is becoming increasingly clear that IVC filters come with substantial risks to patients.

IVC Filters and their function

IVC filters are small metal devices with thin, sharp legs flaring out from a central spoke. The legs possess small barbs which keep the device in place in the vein. The devices are installed in the vena cava, the body’s largest vein, as a means of preventing blood clots known as “thrombi” from reaching the heart or lungs. The center spoke is capped with a small hook, which the surgeon is supposed to be able to use to retrieve the filter. IVC filters are designed to remain implanted for approximately 30 to 55 days, and complications can arise when the filters are left in place for longer. Despite this risk, however, doctors often allow the filters to remain implanted for much longer, due in part to the difficulty involved in removing them.

Injuries caused when IVC filters become difficult to remove

Lawsuits recently filed by injured plaintiffs highlight the dangerous complications which can arise from using the devices. In one case, the plaintiff had a filter implanted to prevent pulmonary embolism. While doctors were attempting to later retrieve the filter, it shifted, causing a leg to break off and get carried in the flow of blood in her vein. The small, sharp leg then became lodged in her lung.

In another case, the filter’s barbed leg became embedded in the wall of the patient’s vein. Two separate groups of surgeons attempted to retrieve the filter. On the second attempt, the surgeon was successful in removing the filter, but in the process damaged the vein wall. Ruptures in a vein wall can result in internal bleeding, which carries a risk of death. IVC filters are highly prone to becoming embedded in vein walls; a separate patient recently filed a lawsuit alleging that an embedded filter became irretrievable due to the risk of damage to her vein.

If you’ve suffered high medical expenses or pain and suffering due to a defective medical device in Idaho, find out if you have a claim for money damages by contacting the effective and knowledgeable Twin Falls personal injury lawyers at Pedersen Whitehead & Hanby for a consultation, at 208-734-2552, or in Boise at 208-336-2552.