Buffalo IVC Filter Lawyers
Buffalo IVC Filter Lawyers
If you or a loved one has received an IVC filter designed to be optionally retrievable, you could be entitled to substantial compensation. Thousands of patients have experienced complications as a result of defective blood clot filters. The Buffalo IVC filter attorneys at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti are here to help. Our firm has recovered over $300 million in verdicts and settlements and we are available to help 24/7.
IVC Filters Designed with the Option to Retrieve
IVC Filters (Inferior Vena Cava Filters or Blood Clot Filters) have been used to prevent blood clots from traveling to the heart or lungs since the 1960s. Cage-like in design these medical devices are implanted in the inferior vena cava (IVC). The IVC is the primary blood vessel that returns blood to the heart from the lower half of the body. The filter’s principal function is to seize blood clots and stop them from traveling to vital organs. IVC filters are typically implanted in patients that are a high risk for pulmonary embolism (a blood clot traveling to the lungs), when anticoagulation medication is not a viable option. These blood clot filters were routinely implanted for patients undergoing trauma, orthopedic and bariatric surgery. Originally IVC filters were designed to be permanent however in the early 2000s some manufacturers began designing filters that had the ability to be retrieved.
In 2003, manufacturers like Johnson & Johnson, C.R. Bard and Cook Medical introduced IVC filters which could be permanent but also had the option to retrieve. These filters were meant to be a more marketable replacement to the older permanent IVC filter models. However, due to the design changes, the retrievable filter models are associated with an increased risk for patients.
Risks and Problems Associated with IVC Filters Designed with the Option to Retrieve:
- Filter migration
- Filter fracture or breakage
- IVC perforation
- Internal organ damage
- Inability to retrieve
- Even wrongful death
FDA Warnings and Medical Association Studies
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a study in 2010 which found that patients with IVC filter implants had close to double the in-hospital mortality rate compared to patients without IVC filters. Additionally, it was found that of the patients in the study who received an IVC filter to treat acute vein thrombosis, 25% did not actually require the filter. As a result of these finding the FDA pressed for more studies.
Later that same year the FDA announced their findings from almost 1000 adverse event reports. Of these adverse event reports:
- Almost 36% were cases of filter migration
- 16% of cases reported detachment of the device components (device embolization)
- 8% reported perforation of the vena cava wall
- 6% reported fractured filters
In 2013, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published a study that focused on the filter’s failure rate. The JAMA researchers found that doctors removed approximately 8% of the IVC filters designed with the option to retrieve. They also found that when the IVC filter was left in beyond the patient’s transient risk for pulmonary embolism, over 18% of attempted removals failed, almost 8% of patients experienced thrombotic events and around 4% suffered pulmonary embolisms.
In May of 2014, the FDA updated their IVC Filter Warning. The warning indicated that permanent IVC filters designed with the option to retrieve were significantly more likely to perforate, fracture or migrate when left in for long periods of time. The updated FDA warning now suggested a definitive timeline, stating that IVC filters should be removed within 29-54 days of implantation if the patient’s transient risk of pulmonary embolism had passed.
Even after the multitude of adverse event reports and the publication of the FDA warnings, manufacturers continued to manufacture, sell and market IVC filters with the option to retrieve. Lawsuits have been filed across the country alleging defective design, misrepresentation in marketing and a failure to warn doctors and patients. If you or someone you love have been implanted with an IVC filter designed with the option to retrieve, you may be entitled to compensation. Call us today at 1800LAW1010 (1.800529.1010) and our Buffalo New York IVC filter attorneys will determine what legal action you can take regarding these defective products.