IVC Filter Side Effects: Thrombosis
Sometimes, a device or medication designed to prevent a certain ailment may actually contribute to the cause of that ailment. This appears to be the case with inferior vena cava filters (IVC filters). IVC filters are tiny, metal expandable devices that are inserted into the inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body, which pumps blood from the lower body into heart and lungs. IVC filters are designed to prevent thrombosis (blood clots that form within a blood vessel) from migrating into the heart and lungs. However, IVC filters are not always effective at stopping blood clots from migrating and may even contribute to the formation of blood clots. IVC filters can contribute to pulmonary embolisms (blood clots blocking blood flow to the lungs) in several ways.
First, an IVC filter can break apart. If this happens, there will be no barrier to keep the clot from breaking free and reaching the lungs. Also, metal pieces from the filter can damages blood vessel walls, thus contributing to the formation of blood clots.
Also, IVC filters have been known to migrate out of their intended placement area, leaving blood clots easy access to the lungs and other organs. In other cases, the blood clot itself can cause the IVC filter to collapse, creating a space where blood clots can move past the device and easily enter the lungs.
Any person who has had an IVC filter inserted needs to talk to their physician about having it removed. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended patients with an IVC filter implanted have it removed as soon as the risk of thrombosis subsided.
If you or a family member has experienced any adverse side effects while being treated with an IVC filter, you need to contact the IVC blood filter blocked blood vessel attorneys at Farah & Farah to see if you may be able to pursue a pharmaceutical litigation claim. Call (800) 533-3555 for a free consultation.