For decades, doctors have helped prevent blood clots from reaching their patients’ hearts and lungs by inserting inferior vena cava (IVC) filters. However, IVC filter types are not all the same and some come with extra risks and potentially harmful side effects. Both retractable and permanent IVC filters are inserted into your vein via catheter, with retractable IVC filters designed to be removed later. If these retractable IVC filters are not promptly removed, they can reportedly break, move, and even perforate. If your doctor inserted a retractable IVC filter that caused one of these complications, you may be eligible for legal compensation.
What Do IVC Filters Do?
IVC filters trap large blood clots that first develop in the veins of the leg or pelvis, called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), that can then break up and travel through the vena cava vein, where they can cause severe complications and even death. If blood clots inside the body reach the lungs, they can stop blood flow to these vital organs and oxygen flow to the rest of your body. In fact, this medical phenomenon is one of the top three killers of all hospital patients: pulmonary embolisms (PEs).
Why IVC Filter Types Matter: Retractable Vs. Permanent
Retractable IVC filters are temporary, so they must eventually be removed, unlike permanent IVC filters. Unfortunately, that’s not the only difference between the two IVC filter types: The (FDA) has also fielded complaints about retractable IVC filters since at least 2005. In 2012, the federal agency finally issued warnings that IVC filters were migrating (or moving) within patients’ bodies.
While more than a third of all IVC filter complications are related to vein migration, many involve the detachment of key components. In some cases, many IVC filters moved position inside patients’ bodies, but others broke into pieces, sending filters, wires, and other components through the patient’s blood stream.
Five IVC Filter Types Cited for Complications
Some manufacturers have received more complaints than others, and part of the problem is lack of removal. According to the FDA and multiple peer-reviewed medical journals, the majority of retractable IVC filters are left in place instead of being removed after the risk of PE has subsided. The FDA and the scientific community have zeroed in on the following five specific IVC filter types that are associated with failed removal attempts or migration after being left in:
- Recovery by Bard
- G2 by Bard
- G2 Express by Bard
- Gunther Tulip by Cook
- Celect by Cook
All five of these IVC filter types, some of which were manufactured as replacements for others, have varying rates of failure and the FDA has investigated the facilities that manufacture these devices as well as the medical issues related to the removal of the devices. Bard’s Recovery Cone Removal System also came under scrutiny, in particular, because it was modified from an existing device that was designed to remove retractable IVC filters. Bard skipped proper approval to sell it as a new IVC device, and according to an independent investigation by NBC News, they may have even forged signatures to do so.
Have you experienced perforation, migration, or any other complications related to a faulty retractable IVC filter? You and your loved ones have the right to seek justice. To find out if your IVC filter type qualifies you to file a lawsuit, submit your case for a free legal review today. We can review your case and help you determine the steps to take next.