HOW IVC FILTERS WORK
IVC filters are metal devices surgically implanted into the vena cava, right below a patient’s kidneys. The filter is designed to trap blood clots of a certain size, preventing them from reaching the heart or lungs. A physician may recommend a temporary or permanent IVC filter implant if blood-thinning medication is not an option. Candidates for this type of filter include those who suffer from deep vein thrombosis, a recent physical trauma, or immobilization.
COMMON COMPLICATIONS THAT ARISE FROM IVC FILTER IMPLANTS
When it works perfectly, an IVC filter solves a potentially life-threatening problem. One blood clot in the wrong area can cause severe injury or death. However, when a device does not work properly because of a product defect or a health care professional’s negligence, a patient may still suffer severe injury or life-threatening complications. Contact our office to speak with a compassionate IVC filter lawsuit attorney if you experience any of the below complications.
Common complications from IVC filter procedures include:
- Drifting –An improperly placed or faulty device may not maintain its position within the vein. As soon as it slips out of place, the filter has no ability to block blood clots. This complication can precede a pulmonary embolism (when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the lungs) or it can cause additional device-related complications.
Pulmonary emboli can cause almost immediate death if the clots reach the lungs. Those who do not die always require early treatment to recover. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include chest pain, anxiety, fainting, and/or shortness of breath.
- Perforations –If an improperly placed device moves, it can tear the lining of a blood vessel or an organ, causing numerous complications. Internal bleeding and sepsis (total body infection) are just two serious problems that can arise after an internal perforation.
- Device breakdown –Many filters feature delicate branching arms. If any piece of the device breaks off, it can cause perforations or lower-extremity blockages, fail to prevent a pulmonary embolism, or reach the heart or lungs.
- Stuck devices –If a device remains inside the body for too long, it may become imbedded and unsafe to remove. In some cases, an embedded device can have harmful side effects for a patient. The Food and Drug Administration indicates that the ideal window for removal is 29-54 days after the initial procedure.
IVC FILTER BRANDS THAT MAY PUT YOU AT RISK
There are several different IVC filters on the market today, and some may provide more protection for patients than others. In particular, Cook and C.R. Bard-manufactured IVC filters may represent an increased risk of complications for patients. These manufacturers are facing lawsuits for device-related complications across the United States.
Other filters may also cause complications. Talk to your doctor about the device manufacturer before you agree to a procedure and if you experience any complications after a procedure. Insist on retrieval or replacement, and don’t be afraid to voice any concerns.
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