What Damages are Caused by IVC Filters?
When a patient is bed-ridden, has had a serious surgery, or is being treated for a heart condition, or has swollen legs, often the doctor will try to avoid the development of blood clots moving to the lungs by inserting an IVC filter in the abdomen. This filter is inserted into the Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) vein to prevent any blood clots from moving toward the heart and lungs. There have been problems with this device since it has been used, and there is reason to contact an IVC filter lawyer in case you have a situation where you have suffered an injury because of this treatment. The law firm of Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. have had much success in litigating these claims.
The IVC filter is a metal apparatus that is shaped like an inverted cone, and it is placed in the IVC by inserting it through the groin with minimal numbing of the area and minimal invasion of the body. The problems arise when the device has been inserted, and complications develop.
Complications and Injuries
When an IVC is inserted it is implanted to stay in one place in the vein to do the job of blocking blood clots. However, at times the IVC filter can travel, (migrate) within the vein causing complications. Once the filter begins moving it can damage the walls of the vein and even penetrate the vein and enter other organs. The IVC has very narrow struts that can easily damage tissue that it comes in contact with. This can cause severe pain and internal bleeding. If the metal struts should intrude on the heart or lungs this could cause death.
An IVC filter can also tilt or fracture. The surgeons attempt to place the IVC in a location that is the best place to catch blood clots and where there is as little disturbance as possible to the regular flow of blood. However, if the filter becomes tilted it may no longer function correctly and will not stop the blood clots, and it may place increased pressure on the walls of the vein. Since IVC filters are often removed after the patient improves and possibly starts using blood-thinners, the tilting of the IVC filter makes it more difficult for the device to be removed without causing damage.
An even worse scenario is to have the IVC filter fracture and break into small pieces that travel to the heart, lungs, and other organs causing severe pain and other complications.
Cardiac Tamponade is a condition where fluid builds up around the heart when a piece of the IVC filter has migrated to the heart after fracturing and breaking up. This fluid can put unwanted pressure on the heart causing shortness of breath and dizziness. The pieces of the filter can be removed with surgery, but the damage may be permanent and lead to death. If this condition exists, it is important to contact an IVC filter lawyer as soon as possible.
The purpose of inserting an IVC filter is to prevent blood clots from moving through the veins. This procedure usually helps alleviate Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is the swelling and pain in the legs and feet due to blood clots. The IVC filter is usually removed after it has protected the patient, but not always. There is always the risk of complications and injury due to manufacturing or implantation procedures. At Cochran, Kroll, & Associates, P.C. have a great deal of experience working with malpractice suits that deal with IVC filters. We are available for a free consultation by calling 1-866-MICH-LAW (1-866-642-4529).