Published medical studies have already found a number of serious complications associated with inferior vena cava (IVC) filters including fracture, device migration, perforation of the vena cava wall, organ penetration and the increased risk for blood clots. Now, a recent study conducted by researchers at the Imaging Institute of Interventional Radiology Clinic in Cleveland has shown that about 40 percent of IVC filters would fracture within about 5 years. The study also concluded that the risk increases over time, so the longer the patient is implanted with an IVC filter, the more likely they are to suffer injuries from a fracture of the device. C.R. Bard Inc., a manufacturer of the retrievable Meridian IVC filter, is currently facing more than 1,000 IVC lawsuits in connection with injuries caused by the defective devices.
What are the Lawsuits Claiming?
Product liability and injury lawsuits filed against Bard and other retrievable IVC filter manufacturers allege that these companies knew or should have known that the devices were defective and dangerous. The lawsuits allege that the company failed to conduct proper testing, including human clinical testing to determine precisely how these devices work inside the body. The lawsuits also allege that the manufacturer misrepresented the risks with retrievable IVC filters and failed to warn patients and physicians about the actual dangers associated with these products.
Why are the Meridian IVC Filters Dangerous?
Meridian is essentially a temporary filter, which consists of 12 needle-like legs arranged in a cone shape around a central hook. It is implanted in the inferior vena cava to catch blood clots and prevent pulmonary embolisms, which are blood clots that travel to the lungs. The device is designed to be removed from the body once the risk of blood clots subsides. Meridian got its approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 with a 501 (k) application, which means it did not have to go through clinical testing because it was just like other IVC filters made by Bard.
Since that time, these filters have been linked to serious injuries such as fracture and detachment of the device. Once the device fractures, the sharp pieces of metal can migrate to other parts of the body, piercing veins and vital organs along the way. The FDA released a warning to medical professionals back in August 2010 that these IVC filters should be removed as soon as the patient did not face a risk of blood clots. When the filters are left in the body for a longer period of time, the risk of fracture and device migration increases significantly.
Contact an Experienced IVC Lawyer
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury after being treated with an IVC filter, you may be able to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our firm is working with experienced ICV filter lawyers across the country, who are investigating these cases. They may be able to file an IVC lawsuit for you, and they charge no fee unless you win an award or settlement. For a free (no obligation) case evaluation, call our toll free number at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online.