Former recipients of retrievable IVC filters devices designed to capture blood clots before they enter the lungs filed legal claims against manufacturers for poor design, manufacturing and failing to warn of risks. Faulty filters punctured veins, fractured and migrated to other parts of the body causing complications.
What is an Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Filter?
A retrievable inferior vena cava filter (IVC filter) is a small, metal device designed to stop a blood clot from traveling to the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism. When deep vein thrombosis a blood clot in the legs develops, the filters catch them. The device resembles a metal cage. Doctors insert the device into a patient’s inferior vena cava, the vein that takes blood back to the heart and lungs. People who cannot take anticoagulants are more likely to receive a filter.
The FDA approved the device in 1979, and its use increased continuously through the years. By 2012, doctors inserted approximately 259,000 filters in patients. The two major companies that manufacture these filters are C.R. Bard and Cook Medical.