​IVC Filter Injuries, Deaths Lead to More Product Liability Lawsuits

The controversial devices are linked to at least 27 deaths and over 300 additional injuries. Many devices can become difficult or impossible to retrieve if left in for more than 30-45 days after implant.

A recent NBC News investigation indicated that, over the course of a decade, the Recovery IVC filter manufactured by C.R. Bard was associated with at least 27 deaths and more than 300 non-fatal injuries, a finding that has led hundreds of IVC filter recipients to pursue financial compensation from the makers of IVC filters in the form of product liability lawsuits. For more information about IVC filter lawsuits and seeking reimbursement for blood clot filter injuries or wrongful death, contact the IVC Filter Lawsuit Help Center or call for a free, no obligation consultation at 888-733-9229.

Problems with the design of several different inferior vena cava (IVC) filters used to prevent blood clots and pulmonary embolism have resulted in hundreds of IVC filter recipients filing product liability lawsuits against the device manufacturing companies, alleging that the medical devices caused them to suffer severe and potentially life-threatening injuries. According to claims, manufacturers of IVC filters, like C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, were negligent in failing to warn the public about problems with their blood clot filters.

An IVC filter is a small, cage-like device designed to be surgically implanted in the inferior vena cava to prevent blood clots that break free from the veins in the lower part of the body from traveling to the heart and lungs. The first IVC filter was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1979, and by 2012, doctors had implanted approximately 259,000 blood clot filters in patients who were unable to take blood thinner medications, or for whom anticoagulant therapy was inappropriate or unsuccessful.

Although IVC filters are used by doctors to prevent pulmonary embolism and other serious complications, the medical devices have been linked to devastating side effects in users, including filter migration, filter fracture, and vein and organ perforation. In some cases, broken fragments of the blood clot filters may travel through the body, damaging organs, or to the lungs, possibly causing a pulmonary embolism.

Some IVC filters are permanent and others are temporary, designed to be retrieved once the risk of pulmonary embolism has subsided. However, retrievable IVC filters have been shown to increase the risk of side effects like filter migration and organ and blood vessel perforation, and some filters that have migrated out of position may become embedded inside the body, making them difficult or impossible to safely remove.

A growing body of research has indicated that certain retrievable IVC filters may be prone to failure, including C.R. Bard’s Recovery, G2 and G2 Express filters, and Cook Medical’s Celect and Gunther Tulip filters. Some accuse Bard and Cook Medical of intentionally withholding information about the alleged risk of IVC filter complications from consumers and the medical community, despite knowing that the medical devices may pose a risk of potentially life-threatening injury.

The FDA issued a safety announcement regarding the risks of IVC filters in 2010, indicating that the agency had received 921 reports of adverse events involving the filters between 2005 and 2010, including device migration, filter fracture, filter perforation and device embolization. In 2014, the agency issued an updated warning, stating that, “For patients with retrievable filters, some complications may be avoided if the filter can be removed once the risk of pulmonary embolism has subsided.”

A growing body of research has examined the potential health risks of retrievable IVC filters, and in 2013, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at the failure rates of IVC filters, and found that only 58 out of 679 retrievable IVC filters were actually removed. According to the study findings, 18.3% of attempts at removing the blood clot filters failed, 7.8% of patients experienced venous thrombotic events, and 25 patients suffered pulmonary embolism, the very condition IVC filters are designed to prevent.

Plaintiffs involved in the IVC filter litigation allege that defects in the design of their IVC filters caused the devices to migrate out of position and break apart, causing organ damage, pulmonary embolism and other serious complications. Contact an experienced product liability lawyer today if you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries you believe were caused by side effects of a defective inferior vena cava filter.