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IVC Blood Clot Filter Problems and FAQs

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on April 27, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If you suffer from a high risk of blood clotting due to surgery or an accident, an inferior vena cava filter or IVC filter can save your life. But in most cases, IVC filters are only supposed to be temporary fixes: the Food and Drug Administration has repeatedly warned of the risks associated with IVC filters and documented hundreds of adverse health events due to leaving IVC filters in long after they are needed.

Some of these injuries have led to lawsuits, so here's what you need to know about IVC filters and your legal options:

Who Had the Implant?

IVC filters are designed for patients at risk for blood clots in the lungs, known as pulmonary embolisms, and are used when anticoagulant therapy is unavailable or ineffective. Most patients with IVC filters are older, averaging 54 years old, with 54 percent of IVC patients being male and 47 percent female.

Why Was the Filter Implanted?

The FDA describes IVC filters as "small, cage-like devices that are inserted into the inferior vena cava to capture blood clots and prevent them from reaching the lungs." Patients can have an increased risk of blood clots for a variety of reasons:

  • 21.9 percent had an increased blood clot risk due to surgery;
  • 15.9 percent had an increased risk due to accident;
  • 15.6 percent were genetically predisposed more frequent blood clots; and
  • 36.1 percent of patients had some other reason for needing an IVC filter.

Who Had Complications With the Implant?

Of all patients who had an IVC filter made by Cook Celec, 43 percent suffered a punctured blood vessel caused by the filter. Others have been injured for other reasons, usually because the IVC filters were not removed soon enough. This would result in filters fracturing or splintering, migrating to other areas of the body, or becoming stuck or tilted. Some injuries were relatively minor, but other IVC filter complications led to perforated tissue or organs.

What Can I Do?

Blood clot filter injuries could happen due to a defective device or a doctor's decision. If you or a loved one suffered complications after having an IVC filter implanted to treat blood clots, the Blood Clot Treatment IVC Lawsuit Center can help.

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