Following a major medical operation, you may have had an inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter) inserted into your chest. This filter is inserted in a patient’s inferior vena cava, the large vein that carries deoxygenated blood from the lower body to the heart.
In theory, this medical device was designed to help reduce the risk of dangerous post-operative blood clots. Yet, tragically IVC filters have proven to be dangerous and defective medical devices. Indeed, more than two dozen deaths have been directly linked to IVC filters, as reported by NBC News.
The FDA Recommends the Removal of IVC Filters
In 2010, in a decision that has since been reaffirmed, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that doctors consider removing IVC filters from their patients as soon as it is possible to do so. As removal itself can be invasive, the FDA encouraged all medical professionals to carefully consider the benefits and risks of removing IVC filters for their specific patients.
This was a very big step for the FDA. Initially, IVC filters were designed to be permanent, so removal can be challenging. Yet, the FDA determined it was necessary to put out the removal guidance because IVC filters have the potential to be so dangerous for patients if left in place.
IVC Filters Can Fall Apart
The core problem with IVC filters is that they have the potential to simply fall apart while implanted inside a patient. When this happens, the results can be truly devastating.
The device itself is made up of metal pieces. If it breaks apart, small metal debris may work its way through a victim’s bloodstream, causing serious harm.
Not only does this defect render these devices completely ineffective, meaning they do not actually stop blood clots, but the metal debris can itself cause injuries to the patient. Indeed, a defective IVC filter can puncture an internal organ, possibly leading to a stroke, hemorrhage, pulmonary embolism, or even death.
IVC Filter Lawsuits: What Did the Company Know?
IVC filters were produced and marketed by C.R. Bard, a multibillion-dollar medical device manufacturer headquartered in New Jersey. As the manufacturer, this company had a legal duty to ensure that it was putting a reasonably safe product on to the market.
Not only is there reason to believe that C.R. Bard failed to live up to that obligation, but there is evidence to suggest that the company knew of problems with its IVC filters as early as 2004, many years before the issue became public knowledge.
Large medical device manufacturers must be held accountable for the damage their defective products cause to innocent patients. If you or a loved one was injured by an IVC filter or had to have a defective IVC filter removed, please seek legal help today. You may be entitled to substantial compensation.
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To set up a free review of your claim, please do not hesitate to call us or fill out our online contact form today. At Grimes Teich Anderson LLP, we handle product liability claims throughout Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, including in Greenville, Spartanburg, Asheville, Waynesville, and Franklin.