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IVC filters: Risks and injuries

Lawsuits over IVC filters are continuing to appear in both state and federal courts all over the country. At present, there are nearly 4,000 filings against C.R. Bard and Cook Medical, which are the two largest IVC filter manufacturers, and smaller manufacturers such as B. Braun, Argon Medical, Cordis Corporation, and Rex Medical are facing hundreds of similar lawsuits.

What is an IVC filter?

Inferior vena cava filters, or IVC filters for short, are tiny, spider-like medical devices inserted into the vena cava, which is your largest artery.  Once implanted, its appendages line the arterial wall, where they are designed to trap passing blood clots and prevent them from reaching your lung and doing serious damage.

Although literally thousands of IVC filters have been surgically placed in patients over the last 30 years, the FDA did not issue a warning against them until 2010, after it had received a barrage of adverse event reports. In 2014, the FDA went a step further and advised doctors to remove the filters within one or two months after the pulmonary embolism risk had reduced.

Public awareness of the danger spreads

Despite this warning, in 2015 NBC News broke the story that C.R. Bard was still manufacturing and selling their Recovery Model IVC filters, even though the risk of serious injury and even death was now widespread. NBC alleged that at least 27 deaths and over 300 injuries had been linked to the C.R. Bard product, which was accused of the following adverse events:

  • Puncturing the vena cava
  • Tilting out of position
  • Breaking apart and sending fragments to the heart or lungs

Resulting lawsuits accused C.R. Bard of negligence in manufacturing and selling a defective medical device and failing to warn potential patients of the inherent risks of its product. Other claims against the company include:

  • Deliberately concealing safety hazards
  • Downplaying known side effects that could lead to death

The FDA is currently advising that patients with IVC filters should have them removed as soon as possible, ideally within one to three months after implantation. Affected patients and their family members claim that if they had known about these risks and side effects, they might have considered other treatment options. Left without the ability to make an educated choice, they were exposed to unacceptable dangers.

If you or someone you care about has experienced life-threatening complications after having an IVC filter implanted, then contact a New York personal injury attorney immediately. Jayson Lutzky, a Bronx, NY accident and personal injury lawyer with more than 34 years of experience can review both pre- and post-surgical treatment records to form a concrete picture of how a defective device has impacted your quality of life, and fight for the award or settlement you need to cope with losses and rebuild your life. Mr. Lutzky has helped recover millions of dollars for past clients to pay for medical bills, lost wages and compensation for pain and suffering. He offers free in-person consultations and can be reached at 718-329-9500. Visit www.MyNewYorkCityLawyer.com to learn more.

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