Inferior Vena Cava Filters Require Caution January 4, 2010.
While they have saved lives, inferior vena cava filters have resulted in deadly consequences for patients. If the inferior vena cava filter is defective, you may have grounds for a product liability lawsuit.
Without getting too technical, an inferior vena cava filter is a medical device. Typically speaking, it may be placed in a patient’s body to prevent pulmonary embolus. Placing an inferior vena cava filter is usually done when blood clots have been discovered in a person’s veins. This isn’t great news because clots have the potential to break free and lodge in the lungs and may result in the death of the patient if action isn’t taken fast enough.
In most cases the inferior vena cava filter is placed in the inferior vena cava; the large blood vessel in a person’s abdomen responsible for carrying blood to the lungs. Once in place, its job is to catch clots that break free and keep them from getting into the lungs.
Surgically speaking, this filter is put into place using a procedure that involves a needle inserted into the patient’s groin or neck. In most instances, this particular method is viewed as being low risk, however, infection and bleeding may result. The inferior vena cava filters are used specifically for those individuals who are unable to use Warfarin/Coumadin or other anti-clotting agents. If a person does experience a deep vein thrombosis, it generally occurs in veins in the legs or pelvis. However, there is about 2% of the population who may experience deep vein thrombosis in the sub-clavian artery under the shoulder.
Unfortunately it is coming to light that a considerable number of the inferior vena cava filters used for surgery recently have been labeled as defective. It appears that pieces of the metal device break away and migrate to other locations in the body and may strike vital organs. The defective brands most often cited as being defective are G2TM and Recovery TM inferior vena cava filters.
Defective filters have been known to cause sudden chest pain near the area where they have been inserted. Anyone experiencing this should immediately call for medical assistance and demand a CT scan do see if the filter is causing the problem.
Aside from getting help to deal with this horrific event, defective filters cause needless pain; usually result in more surgery to fix the problem; and may result in permanent damage to internal organs. While the surgery may work to solve the problems caused by the rogue piece of metal, there are instances where it is not considered prudent because of the stress caused to the organ(s) during the procedure to remove the metal.
If you have had inferior vena cava filters placed in your body and have experienced pain, extra surgeries, and permanent organ damage, contact a competent medical malpractice attorney and find out what your rights are and whether or not you may have a case. This is a relatively new and untried area of the law and it is vital you speak with a seasoned attorney who will be able to give you advice.