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Many Americans are being harmed by defective medical devices called inferior vena cava filters, also known as IVC filters. IVC filter complications and injuries can be the basis of an IVC filter lawsuit.

What is an IVC Filter?

Also known as Greenfield Filters, IVC filters are cone-shaped devices implanted in the inferior vena cava, a large vein that channels deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart. Such implants — just below the kidneys — are done via surgery for people who have an elevated risk of suffering a blood clot in their lungs, called a pulmonary embolism.

Also known as embolisms, blood clots can break away from deep veins in the legs which transport blood to the heart and lungs. Cage-like IVC filters are designed to collect and trap blood clots to keep them from migrating  to vital organs such as the lungs or heart.

IVC Filter Injuries

However, some IVC filters are not removed when the risks of a pulmonary embolism have been greatly lowered if not eliminated. The tiny devices then can break apart in the body or malfunction in some other way, leading to a number of IVC injuries — and even death.

In fact, some studies have found that over three-fourths of IVC filters can cause serious IVC filter  complications or side effects.

IVC Filter Side Effects, Complications

Defective IVC filters can cause a variety of harmful side effects and complications. These can include:

  • Filter fracture
  • Filter migration
  • Filter perforation
  • An inability to retrieve the filter from the body
  • A tilting of the filter

A filter fracture occurs when pieces of the filter break up and then injure the lungs, the heart or the inferior vena cava (IVC) veins.

Filter migration signifies that the device has eroded into a part of the body beyond the vein in which it was implanted.

Filter perforation means that the filter can perforate or puncture the heart, the lungs or the inferior vena cava vein.

In addition, IVC filters can cause a condition in which fluid collects near the heart and then hampers heart functions. That condition is known as cardiac tamponade.

IVC filters also are believed to be associated with deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. That means a blood clot forms in the veins in the lower part of the body, such as the legs, making it harder for  blood to reach the lungs and heart.

IVC Filter History, FDA Response

IVC filter history as a medical device already is marked by a number of cautionary responses by the Food and Drug Administration, or FDA.

The FDA has approved a number of IVC filters on an individual basis over the years, and some of these do not have defects. But other filters approved by the FDA then have turned out to be associated with IVC filter injuries and even deaths.

Filters which have come under scrutiny for their effectiveness, and their history with the FDA, include:

  • The Titanium Greenfield, made by Boston Scientific of Massachusetts. This permanent IVC filter was approved by the FDA in 1989. It’s considered a standard for IVC filters, given its lengthy time on the market.
  • The Cook Celect, made by Cook Medical Inc. of Indiana. The FDA first approved the Cook Celect for permanent use in 2007, and in 2008 the retrievable Cook Celect device gained FDA approval.
  • Gunther Tulip, also made by Cook. It gained FDA approval for permanent use in 2000 and then for retrievable use in 2003.
  • The G2, made by C.R. Bard. The FDA first approved Bard’s G2 IVC filter for permanent use in 2005, and in 2008 the FDA approved a retrievable G2l.
  • The Stainless Steel Over-the-Wire Greenfield, made by Boston Scientific. This permanent IVC filter was approved by the FDA in 1995.

FDA Warnings for IVC Filters

Later discoveries of IVC filter defects have resulted in FDA warnings about retrievable IVC filter defects.

On Aug. 9, 2010, the FDA made its first safety communication about the risk of retrievable IVC filters not being taken out after a blood clot risk had subsided. That FDA warning was titled “Removing Retrievable Inferior Vena Cava Filters: Initial Communication.”

This FDA warning notified patients that they should not allow IVC filters to remain in their bodies for extended times, since filters then could erode or pierce veins, causing life-threatening injuries.

The FDA received 921 complaints about IVC filter defects between 2005 and 2010. These included defects such as filter fracture, filter migration, filter perforation and detachment of device elements.

Too, the FDA received over 1,600 adverse event reports related to IVC filters between 2010 and 2015, including 12 deaths associated with G2 filters made by C.R. Bard and hundreds of serious medical problems related to IVC filters.

After the FDA’s safety communication became known, IVC filter lawsuits began being filed against manufacturers Cook and Bard.

Defective IVC Filter Lawsuit

Victims of defective IVC filters, or their families, can fight back. They can file an IVC filter lawsuit against the devices’ manufacturers, claiming payments for injury losses caused by the defective product.

To explore and assess your family’s options for an IVC filter lawsuit, please notify Jim Adler & Associates today. We’ve been helping injured persons seek justice for more than four decades.

We can provide experienced defective medical device attorneys to help injured Americans with their legal needs. Nor will victims pay us anything up-front in legal fees. We will only be paid by winning your case, and even then only from a portion of the settlement in your favor, and not from your pocket.

In fact, when you first contact us, we’ll even provide you with a free legal case review — at no obligation.

A number of innocent Americans already have filed injury lawsuits against such IVC filter makers as Cook Medical and C.R. Bard. We can assist you with an IVC filter lawsuit, which can help you claim payments for your injury losses such as medical expenses, lost salary and pain and suffering.

Contact us today, and let’s get started.

For more information on IVC filters, be sure to read our following articles & blogs:

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