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For people facing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism, IVC filters are just one of several DVT treatment options. Considering the potential harm of a defective IVC filter device, other options can and should be considered.

What Are Other Options?

If blood clots are a concern for you, an IVC filter isn’t your only option. IVC filter alternatives include long-term anticoagulant therapy. That means taking blood-thinning medications to prevent a pulmonary embolism or DVT. An IVC filter may only be needed if this treatment doesn’t work. Often, a patient is given the anticoagulant heparin for several days while also beginning a three-to-six-month treatment of warfarin, another blood thinner. Orally administered, warfarin increases the time it takes blood to clot, but since it often requires several days to achieve effectiveness, heparin is also given at first. People who face recurring risks of DVT must take blood thinners indefinitely. However, using an anticoagulant medication for years can cause veins to be scarred and can lead to a greater danger of having additional blood clots. Another treatment for blood clots is thrombolysis. That means that doctors perform a catheter-directed procedure to break apart a clot quickly and restore blood flow in the vein. The success rate of this DVT treatment is believed to be more than 80 percent. Another alternative to IVC filters is surgery. However, removing a blood clot via surgery is done only in unusual cases, when the clot is extremely large and blocks a major blood vessel.

IVC Filter Treatment

If blood-thinning medications aren’t enough, patients may consider having an IVC filter implanted in a vein to treat possible DVT. Also known as an inferior vena cava or Greenfield filter, these filters are inserted in a large vein in the groin or neck in order to prevent an artery in the lungs from being blocked by a blood clot, a condition also known as a pulmonary embolism. The IVC filter collects small blood clots while letting blood pass through. Some filters remain in the body, while others are retrievable and are removed after several weeks when the blood clot danger has passed.

Preventing DVT and Blood Clots

According to the George Washington University Hospital, patients also can do things to help prevent DVT and blood clots:
  • Wear compression stockings. These can help to prevent DVT among people with a higher risk of blood clots.
  • Get out of bed. After surgery or a major illness leads a person to be bedridden, it’s important to get out of bed from time to time; if that isn’t possible, do in-bed exercises to enhance blood circulation in the legs.
  • Exercise. Patients should exercise their lower leg muscles to improve circulation.
When DVT occurs and produces swelling and pain, patients should elevate their legs when possible, use a heating pad, take walks, and wear compression stockings to reduce those symptoms.

IVC Filter Injuries and Lawsuits

Before getting an IVC filter, patient information should be given explaining the risks of these potentially defective medical devices. The fact of the matter is that for many, getting an IVC filter has led to severe complications and a growing number of IVC filter lawsuits. For patients who turn to IVC filters for blood clot treatment and then suffer from IVC filter side effects, an IVC filter lawsuit may be needed to claim compensation for injuries caused by this defective medical device. Notify an experienced IVC filter attorney at Jim Adler & Associates to receive a no-cost, no-obligation legal review of your case. An IVC filter lawyer with your firm will examine your situation and determine if you could benefit from filing an IVC filter claim. Then, when you stand up for your legal rights, one of our capable attorneys will be by your side through every step of your IVC filter lawsuit. Contact us today to get started.
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