Not everyone is able to take blood thinners, so two companies, C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, developed inferior vena cava filters (IVC) filters that surgeons place in patients’ veins so the movement of blood clots to the lungs is prevented. Blood clots that make it to the heart and lungs have devastating consequences. IVCs catch any clots that have developed in the blood stream and start to diminish over time while passing through the filter.
IVC Filter Failures Revealed Quickly
Not soon after what seemed like useful medical devices began widespread use, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) was inundated with hundreds of reports complaining about the failure of these retrievable filters. Such complaints included punctured organs and blood vessels, as well as the filter migrating to other areas of the body. The FDA did at one point issue a warning about the retrievable IVC filters shortcomings, stating that somewhere between the 29th and 54th day since implantation the device should be removed.
This warning came far too late. By this time many injury victims were suffering or had passed away as a result of the dangerous product. Allegations arose claiming the manufacturers were negligent in failing to inform users of the harmful and even fatal effects, due to design and manufacturing flaws.
Retrievable IVC Filters and Fatal Side Effects
The filters were supposed to prevent fatal pulmonary embolisms (PEs), but in 2010, the FDA was in receipt of reports of at least 900 adverse events caused by IVC filters, including 56 filter fractures, 328 device migrations, 146 embolisms and 70 filter perforations.
These blood clot filters were initially designed to be retrievable. However, their design makes them more likely to fail. Even more problematic, if the device works as anticipated, evidences shows the blood clots get clogged around the filter and can cause an embolism anyway.
IVC Lawsuits Filed Nationwide
5 products have been named in current lawsuits; these are the Cook Gunther Tulip filter, the Cook Celect filter, the Bard Recovery filter, the Bard G2 Express filter and the Bard G2 filter.
Early last year Kevin Philips filed a lawsuit when a Bard Recovery filter fell apart while in his body. One of its metal legs found its way to his heart, causing a perforation that could only be fixed through open heart surgery.
Lisa Davis, who was the recipient of a Bard G2 filter implanted in 2006, sued Bard because it broke in 2008 causing it to migrate to her heart, leading to ongoing heart problems. She declined a risky open heart surgery to remove the fragment and now has to take blood thinners for the remainder of her life. Her claim is based on Bard failing to inform her physician of any potential risks and misrepresenting G’s potential dangers. She is entitled to make a claim for anxiety, physical trauma, medical expenses, future medical expenses, and reduced opportunity for earning an income.
Another lawsuit involves Larry Johnson and his wife Brenda, who have accused Cook of bad design, inadequate testing and manufacturing of its Celect filter. A filter was implanted by a doctor in Mr. Johnson following knee surgery in 2010. By 2014 it had broken and traveled to his heart. While out driving he lost consciousness and had to undergo three surgical events due to the complication. The lawsuit is seeking damages for the pain and emotional suffering experienced by Mr. Johnson, his expenses, scarring, his lack of ability to enjoy life, as well as loss in earning potential and also loss of consortium for Mrs. Johnson.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to complications surrounding an IVC filter, contact our injury lawyers today for a FREE Consultation.
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