Retrievable IVC filters have recently been the center of numerous lawsuits for causing painful and often fatal side effects in patients. Adding insult to injury, so to speak, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has recently published a study that concluded IVC filters bring no measurable benefits even when they are fully functional.(You can view a summary of their study by clicking here and visiting their website.)
What are IVC Filters Supposed to Do?
Looking like a tiny metal whisker broken apart, IVC filters are implanted into the inferior vena cava, the vein that brings blood to the heart and lungs. The design is meant to catch blood clots before they can travel into the vital organs where they can cause serious complications or fatal consequences. IVC filters are generally implanted in patients who have undergone severe trauma and thus cannot use blood thinners or anticoagulants to reduce their chance of forming blood clots.
What Do IVC Filters Actually Do?
The researchers examined trauma patients who had implanted IVC filters to determine the usefulness of the devices. They did not find promising results.
It was determined that patients with IVC filters had near-identical mortality rates as those without them. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had also stated that retrievable IVC filters need to be removed within one or two months after the risk of blood clotting had passed. But the study found that less than 10% of IVC filter patients had the devices removed within the first four years following implantation.
IVC filters can become loose or break into pieces over time. The bits of metal can perforate the inferior vena cava, heart, or lungs. Essentially, a defective IVC filter can cause the exact same trauma it was meant to prevent, and it is more likely to do so as time goes on.
Reexamination & Compensation
The JAMA study once again brings attention to the inherent dangers of retrievable IVC filters. Further research should be conducted as soon as possible to determine if these devices should be completely taken off the market. In the meantime, patients with IVC filters may wish to speak to their doctors about the dangers the devices present, and whether or not it is safe to remove it.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a defective IVC filter, seek compensation for your pain and suffering with the assistance of Kaiser Gornick, LLP and our defective product attorneys in San Francisco. We are backed by 60+ years of total experience and multimillion dollar case results for our clients. Contact us now to learn about our services and your options – we represent clients from coast-to-coast.