IVC Filters are Breaking in Patients, Causing Injury

By Bill O'Mara, Virginia Injury Lawyer

Surgeons place retrievable inferior vena cava filters (IVCs) in the veins of patients who are at risk of potentially-fatal blood clots to improve their chances of survival.

But evidence is mounting that IVC filters can puncture organs and blood vessels and migrate to different parts of the body with fatal consequences.

Our Virginia IVC filter injury attorneys are alarmed at the growing number of lawsuits being filed over this potentially dangerous medical device.

 In this video my colleague John Cooper warns of the dangers of IVC filters.

Inferior vena cava filters are implanted in the vena cava vein, the largest in the human body. It carries de-oxygenated blood from the lower body to the right atrium of the heart and then the lungs, so it’s a vital area.

Doctors often fit IVC filters in patients who are diagnosed with deep veined thrombosis in their legs to prevent blood clots from breaking and migrating to the heart, lungs or other vital areas like the brain where they can prove to be deadly. However, the filters themselves can present a serious hazard.

In 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning about inferior vena cava filters. It sent out a letter confirming it had received reports of adverse events and product problems associated with these devices which include migration of the filters, perforation, filter fracture and embolization.

It hasn’t stopped surgeons fitting them. In a recent article the TV news channel from Texas, News4SA, reported on a woman who was given an IVC filter after she was injured in a car crash, to prevent blood clots forming. Blood clots ended up forming around the filter and doctors could not remove it. She contacted a personal injury lawyer and warned the filter was like a “ticking time bomb.”

Last month, Canadians filed two class action lawsuits against the maker of IVC filters.

The plaintiffs allege the devices broke apart and became trapped inside their bodies, leaving them dealing with the painful and life-threatening consequences.

Wendy Kopeck of Red Deer, Alta, was fitted with a Cook Medical inferior vena cava filter in 2013.

When Kopeck wanted to get it removed, doctors said it was too risky to proceed because the filter had broken, with “one leg piercing her internal jugular vein and the rest of the (IVC) device migrating into her small intestines,” reported CTV News.

Kopeck and her husband filed a $200-million class-action lawsuit against Cook Medical in February 2016 over its inferior vena cava filter.

If you have been harmed by an IVC filter or another dangerous medical device or a drug, you may be able to win compensation and should not wait. Call our Virginia defective products lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

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