IVC filters are small, cage-like devices which are used for the treatment of pulmonary embolism. Retrievable inferior vena cava (IVC) filters have been immensely popular amongst the patients and the doctors as they are easy to implant and were thought to be more effective for patients who cannot otherwise stand the blood thinners. Unfortunately, since their introduction in 2000, the blood clot filters have been plagued with serious health complications.
What are the main health complications?
Migration and perforation
Of the many ivc filter complications, the most common is the case of IVC filter strut migration. The broken pieces migrate from the implanted position and perforate the neighboring organ walls, artery or veins on their way. The only way to treat this condition is to remove the broken IVC filter pieces which is a difficult procedure.
The following complications might arise from strut migration:
- Retroperitoneal hematoma
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Air embolism
IVC Filter Thrombosis
One of the major IVC filter complications is thrombosis where it forms a blood clot in the IVC itself. It can give rise to situations such as:
- pulmonary embolism
- painful swellings in thighs and legs
- lower back pain
More often than not, the migrations of the struts are not associated with any kind of symptoms and are only diagnosed once a CT scan or X-ray is done. As these fractured device portions can tear any vein or artery, it can eventually cause heart attacks. Such situations lead to emergency hospitalizations and often needs emergency invasive surgery.
Claims and compensation
The victims of the above sufferings can claim for all the expenses for the ongoing and future medical bills. The manufacturing companies have been accused for misbranding and advertising the product safe although there were negative reports about the filters. There can be punitive award for the manufacturers as they failed to inform the patients as well as the physicians of the complexities associated with the device.