Retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are used to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in patients who are at temporary risk for the potentially fatal blood clots and cannot use anticoagulant drugs. However, a defective IVC filter can cause permanent or fatal injuries. To further complicate matters, removing a defective IVC filter is a very difficult and dangerous procedure. During surgery, pieces of the filter can break off and travel to the heart.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that, to minimize the risk of injuries and death, IVC filters should be removed as soon as the danger of PE or DVT has passed. IVC filter complications and injuries can include:
- Filter migration
- Tilting of the IVC filter
- Blood clot pushing the filter into the heart or lungs
- Device fracture
- Pieces breaking off the device and traveling into the heart or lungs
- Occlusion of the IVC
- Perforation of the blood vessel in which the IVC filter was placed
- Perforation of internal organs
- Complications of surgery to remove the IVC filter
IVC filter complications can be fatal. Those who survive can suffer permanent injuries.
When Are IVD Filters Used?
IVC filters are used when there is a temporary risk of DVT or PE and only in patients who cannot use anticoagulant drugs or who have not responded to anticoagulant drugs in the past. Examples of conditions and events that can create a temporary risk of blood clots include:
- Emergency surgery
- Cancer treatment
- Kidney dialysis
- Elective surgery
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective IVC filter, the defective drug and medical device attorneys of Smith Stag can help. Please call us at 504-593-9600 or contact us online today.