Does the IVC Filter Produce More Harm Than Benefit?

Posted on June 20, 2016

IVC filters are tiny, spider like contraptions that are inserted into the inferior vena cava (a leg vein that travels directly to the lungs) in patients at risk for pulmonary embolism (a blood clot entering the lungs). Pulmonary embolism is a serious problem, resulting in about 300,000 deaths a year in America.

The problem is that IVC filters have a tendency to migrate away from their insertion point and travel along the inferior vena cava toward the heart, eventually becoming embedded into the soft tissue of internal organs. Though IVC filters are designed to be retrievable, that becomes almost impossible to accomplish once the device has migrated and become lodged in an internal organ. IVC filters have also been known to break apart, their tiny spider like legs traveling to other parts of the body.

Patients who had IVC filters inserted into their inferior vena cava to trap blood clots and keep them from entering their lungs, are probably not happy about a study released last year that suggests IVC filters may do more harm than good.

According to the 2015 study published in Annals of Surgery, the insertion of IVC filters in trauma patients failed to significantly improve survivability rates, while at the same time, increasing the potential for deep vein thrombosis (lower body blood clots) by 83 percent. To quote the study: “High rates of prophylactic IVC filter placement have no effect on reducing trauma patient mortality and are associated with an increase in deep vein thrombosis events.”

If you have had an IVC filter inserted, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice product liability lawsuit. To find out more about your legal rights and options, you’ll want to contact a dedicated pharmaceutical litigation attorney. Farah & Farah is currently investigating IVC filter related injuries nationwide. Call the skilled lawyers Farah & Farah for a free consultation at (800) 533-3555.


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