I Have an IVC Filter?  What Should I Know?  What Should I Do?

Used as a prevention method against the threat of deep vein thrombosis or DVT and cases where patients are at a high risk of pulmonary emboli or PE and cannot be sufficiently anti-coagulated, Inferior vena cava filters or IVC filters have been widely marketed to the medical community as safe “retrievable” devices for patients since their FDA approval in 2003.

The tiny spider like device is placed inside a catheter and threaded through a blood vessel where it is then deployed into the desired location (usually just below the junction of the Inferior vena cava and the lowest renal vein.  The vascular filter works by corralling an embolism and stopping it from reaching the pulmonary arteries while where it could cause a blockage, while still permitting blood flow to continue around the clot.

Bard, one the leading manufacturers of IVC filters, allegedly marketed their “retrievable” device as being strong enough for permanent placement.   However, the medical community has always shown some concern over the extended use of these devices.  Therefore, despite Bard’s boasts about permanency, medical professionals have often structured their placement of IVC filters in conjunction with a long-range plan for retrieving the device from the patient’s vein when the patient’s risk  of DVT or PE is reduced.

The medical communities’ apprehensiveness was for good reason.  Today, serious questions are being raised against Bard, as 27 deaths have now been associated with its Bard IVC Recovery Filter.  In 2009, FDA released a warning about the filter’s fatal flaw: the device’s metal legs have been found to be break down or in some cases break off and make their way through the bloodstream where they can perforate the heart or the lungs.

If this happens doctors say, victims are considered “lucky” to live through it.  In August 2005, one victim, Kevin Phillips, almost became one of those 27 statistics.  Phillips recently settled a lawsuit he brought against C.R. Bard for a rogue IVC filter metal leg that tore a hole in his heart.  The damage forced him to have to undergo emergency open heart surgery and endure a lengthy recovery.

In an effort to cover their tracks in Phillips’ case, Bard motioned to seal the court documents so the settlement would not be made public which would reduce the spread of information about widely used filter’s defect in media.  When people get hurt due to defective products, big corporations will often due what Bard did:  eventually pay out- but then try to sweep big problems under the rug until they can no longer be ignored.   Getting the word out about this defective device is necessary to save lives.  Thankfully, a judge agreed with this thinking and denied Bard’s motion.

Many who are currently living with an implanted IVC filter may not know of this new life-threatening danger or even of the various critical risks now also linked to the device.  Government reports outline as many as 300 other non-fatal problems that have also been reported with the Recovery.   Initial symptoms typically result in acute onset of chest pain and shortness of breath.  These symptoms may be a result of a hemorrhage, cardiac/pericardial tamponade (pressure caused by a collection of blood in the area around the heart), severe and persistent pain, and perforation of tissue, vessels, and organs, and/or death as a result of the migration and breakdown of the device.

The warning of C.R. Bard and Cook Group’s IVC filters currently include the following three models:

* The Bard Recovery filter

* The Bard G2 filter

* The Bard G2 Express filter

Various lawsuits have been filed against C.R. Bard, et al. claim negligence, failure to warn, design defects, manufacturing defects, breached of implied warranty and negligent misrepresentation on the part of Bard and subsidiary companies.

Defective IVC Filter Lawyers and Defective Product Lawsuits

If you or a loved one experienced IVC filter side effects after using a Bard IVC Filter, such as the Recovery IVC Filter System or the G2 IVC Filter, or a filter made by another manufacturer, you may be entitled to file an IVC Filter lawsuit seeking compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more. Contact the compassionate and aggressive attorneys us at Rocky McElhaney Law Firm for a free and confidential case evaluation by an experienced IVC Filter attorney.  We’re big city lawyers with small town manners and we have a reputation for putting the pressure on big corporations that have put innocent people in harm’s way.  We fight for justice.  We fight for family.  We fight for you.  (615)425-2500.

Image Credit: ©123RF.com, Sebastian Kaulitzki