Patients with traumatic spinal cord injury who receive an inferior vena cava (IVC) filter are at a higher risk for blood clots compared to patients who do not. According to a report in General Surgery News, a review of patients from a national databank by surgeons in New York City hospitals specifically looked into whether there was a benefit to prophylactic IVC filters in patients who were suffering from traumatic spinal cord injuries and whether surgeons should take a conservative approach when it comes to filter placement. To date, over 700 IVC filter lawsuits have been filed, alleging numerous medical complications as a result of defective devices.
What Does The Study Show?
Researchers looked at more than 3.6 million patient charts identifying 69,000 patients with traumatic spinal cord injury and analyzed how they fared with filter insertion. Researchers observed a higher rate of pulmonary embolisms in the group. The study also showed that doctors and hospitals are putting in too many filters leading to a number of complications including filter fracture and migration.
Researchers call the cost-effectiveness of an IVC filter highly questionable. The 2002 guidelines of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma recommend using an IVC filter only in high-risk patients who are not able to receive other types of treatment such as chemical prophylaxis.
Another recent study conducted by the University Hospital of Saint Etienne, France, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that IVC filters did not appear to reduce the risk for recurrent pulmonary embolisms and that anticoagulant medications might be more effective in preventing clots.
What Are The Danger of IVC Filters?
IVC filters are designed to capture a blood clot that has broken loose and could travel to the heart or lungs, a dangerous condition also known as a pulmonary embolism. The IVC filter works by permitting blood flow to continue around the trapped clots. Over time, the natural anticoagulants in the blood will help break the clot down.
However, these filters could become detached from the location where they were implanted, disintegrate into pieces and puncture major organs, leading to damage and 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 device because of the migration of the device, embolization or perforation of vital organs. Patients have had unnecessary surgery and have suffered from significant pain and internal bleeding because of these defective devices.
Why Call d’Oliveira & Associates Today?
If you have suffered complications or adverse health effects as a result of defective IVC filters, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost wages, hospitalization, cost of surgery, pain and suffering and emotional distress. Our personal injury lawyers are working with some of the most experienced IVC filter lawyers who are investigating these cases. There is no legal fee unless you receive an award or settlement. Call us at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form online for a free (no-obligation) case consultation.