Inferior vena cava filters (IVC filters) are implantable medical devices that are used to prevent pulmonary embolisms. These are blood clots that can travel from the lower body to the arteries in the lungs. IVC filters are spider-like medical devices are placed in the inferior vena cava to break up blood clots before they can travel to any vital organs. The inferior vena cava is the largest vein in the body and is responsible for transporting blood from your lower body to your heart.
Since 2005, there have been numerous adverse event reports involving retrievable IVC filters. Complaints involving these filters include:
- Device migration and organ punctures: There are reports of IVC filters migrating to other parts of the body. In addition, the FDA has received reports of these struts breaking into pieces and puncturing vital organs, such as the heart or intestines.
- Vena cava perforation: In addition to organ punctures, the struts on IVC filters can pierce the walls of the vena cava.
- Problems with removal: Modern IVC filters are designed to be removed after a certain period of time. However, complications caused by these devices can make removal impossible.
IVC filter complications can occur at any time. In some cases, the devices can fail shortly after they are implanted. They can also fail months later. Symptoms of device failure can vary, but may include lightheadedness, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, and chest and neck pain. There may also be no symptoms.
Can I File an IVC Filter Lawsuit?
Medical device manufacturers must warn the public when their products contain safety hazards. Manufacturers must also release products that do not contain unreasonably dangerous design and manufacturing defects. If you or a loved one were harmed by an IVC filter or any other medical device, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer for damages.