Perforation of the Vena Cava, Heart, or Lungs
IVC filters have been used since the late 1970s in patients who are at risk for blood clots. These tiny devices are implanted in the inferior vena cava (IVC) vein, the largest vein in the body, located just below the kidneys. These devices catch blood clots before they can travel into the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism. The long, legs of the filter catch the blood clots and prevent them from traveling to the heart and lings.
Complications after IVC Filter Implantation
Unfortunately, while these devices can be helpful in some instances, they can do more harm than good. Permanent IVC filters with the option to retrieve were first made in the 2000s. The device could be implanted for several months, and once the patient was no longer at risk for pulmonary embolism, the device could be optionally removed.
In 2010, it was discovered that permanent IVC filters with the option to retrieve have a high failure rate. Due to their design, the retrieval hook, or some other reason, the devices have a tendency to tilt, break, migrate, and puncture vein walls. As a result, this has led to numerous lawsuits against the manufacturers.]
IVC Wall Perforation
Perforation of the vena cava wall is a serious issue. It is one of the most common adverse effects of the IVC filter implant and can lead to other serious problems.
The most frightening part is that a vena cava perforation is usually asymptomatic, and patients don’t find out there’s a problem until severe damage has already been done. In some cases, the legs of the filter can perforate through the walls of the IVC and damage the intestines and ureters along with other nearby blood vessels.
Sample Cases with Multiple Perforation Sites
Patients can have symptoms ranging from back pain, to swelling in the legs, to nausea and vomiting. Often, these cases take years to diagnosis and often involve diagnostic testing CT scans and venograms. Of course, this can lead to further trauma, like the filter perforating duodenum and other delicate tissue.
Contact an IVC Filter Attorney for Help
Despite the multiple warnings from the FDA and the hundreds of reports of adverse side effects, IVC manufacturers continue to produce these devices. Manufacturers failed to warn consumers of the potential dangers of their devices. As such, there are currently numerous lawsuits against them.
Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP is a personal injury law firm that has exceptional experience in defective device law and IVC filter cases. We believe these manufacturers must pay for their negligence and failure to warn consumers. Whether you’ve suffered a punctured IVC wall or other complication from an IVC filter device, contact us today to explore your options.