More and more clinicians are advising that placing inferior vena cava (IVC filters) without plans to retrieve them within a certain period of time could lead to a worrisome increase in IVC thrombosis, according to a recent article in MedPage Today. The injuries caused by IVC filters have been the subject of many IVC filter lawsuits in recent years.
What Is an IVC Filter?
The inferior vena cava is the largest vein in the body, which carries deoxygenated blood to into the heart. An IVC filter is a cage-like device, which is implanted in the inferior vena cava to catch blood clots and prevent them from traveling to the heart or lungs, which could prove fatal. IVC filters are particularly used in patients who are unable to take anticoagulation medication or blood thinners. Permanent IVC filters have been on the market since the late 1960s, but retrievable IVC filters have only been available for the last 10 years.
Given the significant risks, experts advise that IVC filters be removed as soon as possible. It is also important that patients discuss their specific conditions and risks with doctors before determining whether IVC filters are the best course of treatment and if it is the safe and reasonable way to go.
Risks of Serious Side Effects
According to Mohamad Alkhouli, MD, of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, IVC thrombosis accounts for 2.6 to 4 percent of deep venous thrombosis cases. A study conducted by the research team at the University of Rochester Medical Center states that if left untreated, patients with IVC thrombosis are likely to suffer symptoms such as swelling of the hands and feet, skin damage, painful ulcers, pain upon walking, fatigue, and varicose veins. IVC filter patients can also suffer from much more serious, potentially fatal conditions such as pulmonary embolism.
Another danger posed includes the IVC filter becoming detached or pieces of the device breaking off. These pieces can then move around the body and puncture other major organs, causing internal bleeding. In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that there had been nearly 1,000 reports of injuries related to the migration, perforation or fracture of the IVC filters.
Contact an Experienced IVC Lawyer
Our law firm is working with experienced IVC Filter lawyers, who are investigating these cases. If you have suffered a serious injury after being treated with an IVC Filter, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. There is no fee unless you receive an award or settlement. Call our toll free number at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.