Inferior vena cava filters, more commonly called IVC filters, are small, cone-shaped medical devices implanted into the body of those people who are at risk of developing pulmonary embolism, but who cannot tolerate anticoagulant therapy for the problem. The IVC filter is implanted below the kidneys into the large vein called the inferior vena cava. This is the vein that returns blood to the heart during the circulation process. The filter captures blood clots from the legs and holds it so that the body’s own natural anticoagulants can break it down, while allowing the blood to bypass it on its way to the heart. These devices are typically removed, once the patient’s risk for blood clots has subsided.
However, these devices carry some risks for the patient. The procedure requires that a catheter is inserted into the patient at either the neck or the groin, and a color contrast dye is injected. Then, the device is pushed through the catheter to its placement point and the catheter is removed. During implantation, the vein may be perforated or otherwise damaged, requiring more severe surgery to repair the hole. The catheter itself may cause damage to the neck or groin, as well. The filter may also be placed incorrectly, requiring that it be removed and replaced to position it properly.
After surgery, the filter may shift, requiring more surgery to return it to its original position. In 2010, the FDA warned that there had been reports of the devices fracturing, allowing pieces to migrate to other parts of the body, including the heart and lungs. There were also reports of the devices perforating the vein, or migrating to abnormal positions, making it impossible for them to be removed, as well as perforating nearby organs in some instances.
It has also been reported that clots may still bypass the filter, or may be caused by the filter itself. Studies show that there is a 40% incidence of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) after being inserted into patients who showed no evidence of DVT beforehand.
In 2014, the FDA advised that IVC filters should be removed after 29 to 54 days of use in patients whose risk for clotting had decreased.
There is evidence that the device manufacturers knew the filters had problems, but failed to inform the public and the FDA. A study completed in 2004 found that one filter had higher complication rates than its competitors, leading the manufacturer to conclude further study was needed. However, they kept the conclusions of the report secret. This report became public after product liability lawsuits began to be brought and it was accidentally disclosed during a lawsuit in 2012.
It is important that those who have had complications from an IVC filter contact our office today, to evaluate whether they are eligible for compensation, and so that they do not miss a deadline.
Fresno IVC Filter Statute of Limitations
Fresno is located in the State of California. California has strict time deadlines, known as “statute of limitations”, for filing lawsuits so it is important to contact our office today so that you will not miss a deadline.
- Personal Injury: 2 years
- Products Liability: 2 years
- Wrongful Death: 2 years
Contact Our Fresno IVC Filter Lawyers
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