Medical advancements are constantly seeking to solve problems related to some of the toughest health issues. The problem of blood clots – which can travel to the heart or brain and cause fatal consequences – are no exception.
Companies like Cook Group Inc. and C.R. Bard have developed filters that capture blood clots moving through the bloodstream. These filters, which resemble tiny cages with spider-like metal legs, are inserted just below the kidneys into the inferior vena cava vein. They work by catching blood clots so that they cannot travel to the heart or lungs. While there are IVC filters that are designed for permanent implantation, there are also retrievable IVC filters, designed for temporary use on patients suffering from trauma or other conditions that may increase the risk of a blood clot and stroke.
Unfortunately, many temporary IVC filters are left in place, putting patients at risk of complications. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that IVC filters were properly removed less than 10 percent of the time. The study also found that eight percent of patients with IVC filters suffered from a pulmonary embolism, which is a blockage in a lung artery. A pulmonary embolism can be life threatening.
Preventable injuries caused by IVC filters have led to a number of lawsuits against manufacturers of the medical devices. If you or a loved one has had an IVC filter implanted, here are some facts that you need to know:
Adverse Events Associated with Retrievable IVC Filters
As early as 2010, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) reported that it had received more than 900 reports of adverse events associated with IVC filters. The reports prompted the agency to remind doctors to remove the retrievable filters as soon as it was safely possible to do so. The FDA said in a FDA Safety Communication that it had concerns that retrievable IVC filters, when placed for a short-term risk of pulmonary embolism, are not always removed once the risk subsided. The FDA identified the following risks posed by the filters:
- Lower limb deep vein thrombosis;
- Filter fracture;
- Filter migration;
- Filter embolization;
- IVC (vein) perforation.
The potential adverse events listed above are not inclusive. There may be other long-term risks associated with IVC filter use. The adverse events can lead to a number of patient complications, including pain, hemorrhaging, stroke, and death.
Of the problems associated with the IVC filters, the FDA listed movement of the device or “device migration” as being the most common issue, occurring in 328 out of 921 events. The second most common adverse event was risk of embolization, which occurred due to detachment of device components in 146 patients. Filter fracture was the least common, and occurred 56 times. According to a Medscape article, there is a high prevalence of filter fracture and embolization associated with the Bard retrievable filter.
Read more about Life Threatening Injuries Linked to IVC Filters on our website.
IVC Filter Lawsuits Filed Against Device Manufacturers
In response to the high number of adverse events, many patients who have suffered harm have taken action by filing an IVC filter lawsuit, seeking to hold accountable the companies that manufactured the defective medical devices. The lawsuits allege that the companies manufactured a defective product, and continued to market the product despite known risks. The medical device claims also allege that the manufacturers acted negligently by failing to warn patients of risks, and committing a breach of implied warranty. The products that are the source of the problem include the Bard Recovery filter, the Bard G2 filter, the Bard G2 Express filter, the Cook Gunther Tulip filter, and the Cook Celect filter.
Damages Plaintiffs Are Seeking
There have been numerous lawsuits against C.R. Bard and Cook Group Inc. filed by injured patients across the United States. These plaintiffs are seeking compensation for damages including:
Pain and suffering.
Many plaintiffs have suffered pain and emotional anguish as a direct result of the harm that they or their loved ones have suffered.
The harm caused by the defective IVC filters has forced many patients to seek expensive emergency medical care, for which they deserve to be compensated.
Inability to enjoy life.
Some complications caused by the filters are severe enough to cause long-term impairment or even death, resulting in a loss of enjoyment of life.
For those patients who were harmed to a point that they can no longer earn an income, repayment for lost wages is appropriate.
If plaintiffs can prove that the companies named in the lawsuits acted in a grossly negligent manner, they may be entitled to punitive damages (intended to punish the companies).
In addition to lawsuits against device manufacturers, some patients may be entitled to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit for a doctor’s failure to remove a temporary IVC filter in a timely manner, resulting in a patient suffering harm.
How a Medical Device Claims Attorney Can Help You
At Hardison & Cochran Attorneys at Law, our defective medical device lawyers are reviewing cases involving unsafe IVC filters. We are committed to helping patients in North Carolina who have suffered harm as a direct result of a defective IVC filter. We are ready to hold accountable medical device manufacturers responsible for the harm their defective devices cause. If you or a loved one has been injured by an IVC filter, let us review your situation and explain your legal rights to seek compensation. In addition to representing those who have been harmed as a direct result of an IVC filter injury, we also represent the surviving family members of persons whose death was related to an IVC-filter.
To learn more about your rights and what to do if you are an IVC filter victim, how to file a lawsuit, and what you will need to prove to recover compensation, contact our law firm today by filling out our online form or calling our offices at your earliest convenience.