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Are IVC Filters Safe?

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Inferior vena cava blood filters have been linked to severe and fatal health events

Between 2005 and 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received more than 900 adverse event reports involving IVC (inferior vena cava) filters. The reports included different problems, such as the device breaking apart and the device becoming dislodged and perforating or puncturing the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body.

Why Are IVC Filters Used?

IVC filters are used to prevent dangerous blood clots from becoming dislodged and entering the lungs. Blood clots reaching the lungs are a concern for people with deep vein thrombosis who have clots that form deep in the veins of the legs, for example. When a blood clot enters the lungs, the event is known as pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism can be dangerous or even deadly.

IVC filters are meant to avoid this potentially fatal condition. An IVC filter is a metal cage that is inserted into the inferior vena cava in order to catch any blood clots that break away before they enter the lungs. IVC filters are intended to be used on a temporary basis when the risk of blood clots is high, such as after surgery. They are not a permanent solution and they are not without risk.

FDA Warnings About IVC Filters

The FDA first issued a safety communication about IVC filters in 2010. That communication was updated in 2014. In those communications, the FDA urged doctors to remove a patient’s IVC filter as soon as the risk of pulmonary embolism was over and the procedure is possible, given the overall status of the patient’s health.

What to Do If You’re Hurt by an IVC Filter

If you suffer an injury from a medical device such as an IVC filter, then it is important to protect both your medical and your legal recoveries. You can talk to your doctor about your medical options and you can talk to pharmaceutical class action lawyer about your legal options. Please contact us at 1-800-800-5678 to learn more about protecting your rights and your financial recovery.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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