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IVC Filters Commonly Used by Medical Providers Can Lead to Medical Complications

Medical providers frequently treat pulmonary emboli by prescribing medication to break up and prevent the formation of new blood clots. In many cases, however, medication alone fails to ameliorate blood clotting symptoms. When medication is not enough, a medical provider may install a filter in a vein known as the inferior vena cava, which carries deoxygenated blood from the middle and lower parts of the human body into the right atrium of the heart. While the filters have proven effective at helping treat and prevent pulmonary emboli, hundreds of reports have surfaced showing that filter devices can cause serious injuries to patients with medical devices.

Charlotte Personal Injury Lawyers Can Assist With IVC Filter Injuries

The personal injury lawyers at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, have successfully represented clients who have suffered injuries from defective medical products and from medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury resulting from the installation of an IVC filter, our personal injury lawyers may be able to help. Please feel free to contact our Charlotte law firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Understanding Different Types of IVC Filters

Many IVC filters are manufactured by a company named C.R. Bard. The filters are designed to prevent blood clots from moving close to the heart, brain, or lungs of a sufferer by filtering the clots with a tiny net. When the filters work correctly, they remain in a patient’s inferior vena cava and capture any blood clots, holding them in place while they dissolve or break down.

Other common IVC filter types and their makers include:

  • Over-the-Wire Greenfield Filter, made by Boston Scientific;
  • Titanium Greenfield Filter, made by Boston Scientific;
  • Bird’s Nest Filter, made by Cook Incorporated;
  • Opt Ease, made by Cordis Corporation;
  • Vena Tech LP Filter, made by B. Braun;
  • Vena Tech LGM Filter, made by B. Braun;
  • Simon Nitinol Filter, made by C.R. Bard;
  • TrapEase Filter, made by Cordis Corporation;
  • Günther Tulip Filter, made by Cook Incorporated;
  • Recovery Nitinol Filter, made by C.R. Bard.
Medical Professionals Continue to Use Filters Despite Evidence of Increased Risk of DVT

When medical professionals began using IVC filters with greater frequency about two decades ago, most physicians recommended permanently implanted devices. While the permanent filters proved effective at preventing pulmonary emboli within the first twelve (12) days of their implantation, studies showed that the risk to patients of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) within two years of implantation were greater than patients who did not have permanent filters installed.

Most medical professionals agree that anticoagulant medication is still the best way to treat deep vein thrombosis, blood clots, and pulmonary emboli. Medical professionals continue to prescribe IVC filters even though medical studies have failed to show that their benefits outweigh their risks.

The Difference Between Permanent and Temporary IVC Filters

After IVC filter implantation became more common and patients began expressing concern about permanently implanted filters, medical device makers began fabricating temporary IVC filters. Medical professionals can retrieve temporary IVC filters from a person’s vein within two weeks of placement using a catheter or a wire that is attached to the device.

Temporary or retrievable IVC filter devices have not yet acquired the approval of the Federal Drug Administration; they are not currently in use in the United States. It appears likely, however, that use of temporary IVC filters will ultimately be authorized, and that patients who want to enjoy the temporary benefits of a filter without the long-term risks associated with permanent filters will consent to their installation.

Installation and Use of Temporary IVC Filters Can Result in Medical Complications

The installation, maintenance, and removal of temporary IVC filters can also prove medically risky. A patient can suffer adverse medical reactions when:

  • A filter breaks or fractures into pieces;
  • A filter migrates to another area of the body;
  • A filter perforates an internal organ;
  • A filter becomes clogged and prevents blood flow.
Protecting Your Rights in Medical Liability Cases

When medical device companies produce defective products, they are liable for any injuries caused by the defective products. If a person has been injured by a defectively designed or defectively manufactured filter, the injured person may be entitled to compensation from the manufacturer or retailer. If a medical professional failed to provide reasonably safe care, a person may be entitled to compensation for any injuries caused by the professional’s breach of the applicable standard of care

Contact One of Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers Today

If you or your loved one has suffered injuries from an IVC blood filter, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The sooner you speak to a skilled lawyer about your potential lawsuit, the better. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule your free initial consultation with one of our experienced Charlotte personal injury lawyers.

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