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An IVC filter is a small case-like device that is implanted in the inferior vena cava to stop blood clots from reaching the lungs. They are often used when someone has a history of pulmonary embolisms or when anticoagulant therapy is contraindicated.

These filters can have issues and cause injuries such as internal bleeding or organ damage. If the device perforates the vena cava, it can cause severe injuries. Device migration to the heart can be very problematic. Failing to stop a blood clot from reaching the lungs and subsequent pulmonary embolisms is another issue. A device fracture, where a piece of the device breaks off and it is not attached to anything else, is probably the most serious possible injury. These are just some of the injuries that can result. If a person believes that any of these complications, or any other injury, has resulted from the use of an IVC filter, they should contact a local IVC filter lawyer to discuss possible injury claims, damages, and compensation.

Progression of Issues

IVC filter issues sometimes start if it starts to move or get out of place. It is not a tremendous move of the entire device. It may begin to tilt or shift out of place, or it may become embedded in the vena cava. If it moves from its original location, or if it becomes embedded in the vena cava, then it is not in place doing its job, which is to prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs. That can cause a subsequent pulmonary embolism to develop.

People may experience any number of device failures which cause injuries. Common injuries include penetration or perforation of the vena cava. Some people may be able to remove the device and there may not be any long-term damage. With other people, the device may become so embedded that they are unable to surgically remove it. Then they are stuck with this device for the foreseeable future, and that can be problematic as well. It really depends on the case.

Awareness of Risk

These injuries are not something that patients would have been warned about as a potential side effect or complication. The devices were submitted to the FDA for approval without thorough testing. The long list of waivers that people get whenever they go into the hospital for surgery shouldn’t waive their claim.

Depending on when person became aware of the risk associated with the IVC filter, that may or may not affect their claim. One of the big claims regarding these medical device cases is called the failure to warn. That means the corporation or the manufacturer has the responsibility to warn patients of any side effects that may result from the use of their medical device, but the company has not adequately warned either the patient or the physician of the issues.

If a patient knows about the risks associated with an IVC filter, it may be problematic. However, it is likely that patient did not know the full extent of the risk or how likely migration or device failure was to occur. That is one of the reasons it is so important to call an attorney as soon as possible. A person should not wait, especially if they have known for a while that there could be a problem.

Proving an IVC Filter Injury

If someone has an IVC filter and it is intended to be retrievable, they should speak with an attorney because the failure rate is so high that even if the injury has not presented yet, it may very well present in the future. To link an injury to the IVC filter, the first step is to look at all the studies and all the documentation showing that IVC filters can cause these complications. There have been numerous studies done on this where individuals had filter fractures after five years or filter perforation after a couple of months.

Those studies help form the basis of the argument that retrievable IVC filters can cause these types of injuries. Then the treating physicians, and the doctor who may have done any subsequent surgeries to remove the filter, should be asked if in their opinion this IVC filter caused this injury to this person. That will also help show that the injury was a result of the filter.