IVC Blood Clot Filter Side Effects Continue to Cause Injury Years After Warnings First Issued

Austin Kirk

By Austin Kirk
Posted August 13, 2015

ADD YOUR COMMENTS 15

For the past five years, the product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. have been representing clients throughout the U.S. who are pursuing an IVC blood clot filter lawsuit after suffering serious side effects when one of these devices implanted to reduce the risk of pulmonary embolism fractured or moved out of position. Even after several FDA warnings, individuals continue to suffer injuries from some of these defectively designed filters.

Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) filters, also known as blood clot filters, are small, spider-like devices implanted into the vena cava to prevent blood clots from traveling to the lungs. Despite concerns about the safety of IVC filters and questions about their effectiveness, amid continued marketing by the manufacturers, many people have had these devices implanted into their vena cava and suffered serious injuries.

In recent years, most IVC filters implanted have been designed to be retrievable, allowing the surgeon to remove the device once the risk of a blood clot has passed. However, due to inadequate warnings provided by many manufacturers, the devices are often kept in place much longer than necessary, increasing the risk of serious injury.

Some of the common IVC blood clot filter side effects that have been reported after the devices failed include:

  • Fracture or Migration of the IVC Filter
  • Perforation of the Heart, Lung, Vena Cava or Other Tissue
  • Cardiac or Pericardial Tamponade
  • Ventrical Tachycardia
  • Persistent Chest Pain or Shortness of Breath

IVC Filter Warnings

The FDA has issued a series of warnings about the risks associated with IVC blood clot filters, with the first safety communication issued by the agency in August 2010.

At that time, the agency warned that between 2005 and August 2010, more than 921 adverse event reports were filed with the FDA involving IVC filter problems, including: 328 reports involving IVC Filter migration; 146 reports involving IVC Filter embolization or detachment of device components; 70 reports involving vena cava perforation; and 56 reports of IVC Filter fractures

The FDA’s IVC filter blood clot warnings issued in August 2010 highlighted an emerging trend:

IVC filter usage has increased rapidly during the past thirty years. In 1979, 2,000 IVC filters were used, while in 2007, almost 167,000 filters were implanted, and the market for IVC filters is only expected to increase, with an estimated 259,000 IVC filters to be deployed in 2012…

…The FDA is concerned that these retrievable IVC filters, intended for short-term placement, are not always removed once a patient’s risk for PE [pulmonary embolism] subsides. Known long term risks associated with IVC filters include but are not limited to lower limb deep vein thrombosis (DVT), filter fracture, filter migration, filter embolization and IVC perforation.

As manufacturers have continued to promote many of these devices without adequate warnings or instructions in recent years, a growing number of doctors have continued to implant IVC filters for blood clot risks.

In May 2014, the FDA issued another safety communication to healthcare providers, once again stressing the importance of removing blood clot filters as soon as they are no longer needed.

As the agency noted at the time (emphasis added):

The FDA has received reports of adverse events and product problems associated with IVC filters. Types of reports include device migration, filter fracture, embolization (movement of the entire filter or fracture fragments to the heart or lungs), perforation of the IVC and difficulty removing the device…

… For patients with retrievable filters, some complications may be avoided if the filter can be removed once the risk of pulmonary embolism has subsided. The FDA is concerned that retrievable IVC filters, when placed for a short-term risk of pulmonary embolism, are not always removed once the risk subsides.

IVC Filter Safety and Effectiveness Questions

In addition to concerns over the risk of side effects following blood clot filter placements, many experts have raised questions about the effectiveness of retrievable IVC filters at reducing the risk of pulmonary embolism. Several studies have indicated that the devices are widely overused and suggest that many patients may fare no better with an IVC filter vs blood thinner use to prevent a clot from traveling to the lungs.

IVC Filter Image via Wikimedia CommonsIn September 2010, a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that nearly half of all surgeries to implant blood clot filters may not be necessary. After reviewing data on more than 1,500 at risk of a blood clot traveling to the lungs, researchers found that only 51% of those who had an IVC filter implanted were an appropriate use.

In March 2013, two studies and an editorial were published in the medical journal JAMA Internal Medicine, indicating that there is not only a lack of evidence establishing the effectiveness of inferior vena cava (IVC) filters, but that the lack of data has led to a lack of consensus on how the implants should be used.

Earlier this year, in April 2015, another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) raised questions about the benefits of blood clot filters over use of anticoagulants. French researchers found that patients who received an IVC filter may be twice as likely to suffer a pulmonary embolism than those who were prescribed blood thinners along, and the side effects are often fatal. Out of about 200 patients who received an IVC filter, at least six suffered a recurrent pulmonary embolism within three months, and another three patients experienced side effects where the IVC blood clot filter broke off and traveled to the lungs or heart.

Blood Clot Filter Lawsuits

Unfortunately, these IVC filter warnings and studies come after thousands of individuals have experienced problems from blood clot filters. While some have called for an IVC filter recall to be issued, it appears that many of these injuries may have been avoided if the manufacturers of certain devices had provided better warnings and instructions.

The blood clot filter attorneys at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are reviewing potential cases for individuals who have received certain types of devices, including:

Free consultations and case evaluations are provided to help individuals throughout the U.S. determine whether an injury suffered by themselves or a loved one may have been caused by side effects of the blood clot filter implanted into their IVC. All cases are reviewed under a contingency fee agreement, which means there are no attorney fees or expenses unless a blood clot filter settlement or recovery is obtained in the case.

CONTACT OUR LAWYERS ABOUT A BLOOD CLOT FILTER LAWSUIT

PHOTO COURTESY OF: BozMo via Wikimedia CC

15 Comments • Add Your Comments

  • Marcella says:

    Had a filter put in 2007 after a DVT and later was advised to have it removed. On attempting to remove it the Doctor found it has attached itself to my aorta and left it in. I was send home and told it wouldn’t hurt me and possible help me. I have had another DVT 2014 and have suffered no problems with the filter but now I am concerned about the risks. I am a 73 year old female who would like to live at least another ten years with no problems from this filter. and would appreciate your advise.

    Posted on September 2, 2015 at 7:31 pm

  • Jason says:

    I really need yall help cause this implant been in me since 2011 and ive been havin chest pain every since

    Posted on April 8, 2016 at 4:16 pm

  • Pete says:

    It is not reasonable to believe placing a major obstruction in a vein with a non newtonian fluid would not require an increase in pressure to circulate the blood. Why is high blood pressure not listed as a problem caused by ivc filter?

    Posted on April 22, 2016 at 8:36 pm

  • Joseph says:

    I had a IVC FILTER PUT IN 5 YEARS AGO, IT WAS PLACED BY THE GROIN AREA IN MY LEFT LEG. BOTH MY LEGS HAVE BRUSES AND FRECKLE LIKE MARKS AND SOMETIMES I TASTE BLOOD IN MY MOUTH. I’M ONLY IN MY THIRTIES AND IT WAS PUT IN AFTER I GOT HURT AT WORK. I TAKE XERELTO, WATER PILLS BECAUSE MY LEGS GET SWOLLEN. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

    Posted on May 5, 2016 at 10:04 am

  • nancy says:

    I had a filter in in 2015- I seen this and I am concerned.

    Posted on May 12, 2016 at 9:40 am

  • Tonya says:

    I had an IVC filter placed in 2006 when I had the Gastric Bypass. I still have it (2016) and I am concerned yet again. Several years ago I seen warnings of the IVC filter and talked to my Dr about it. I was told that it was fine and not to worry about it; it would cause more harm to remove it. I am now having problems with my legs. I am not diabetic but yet on a daily basis I have the worst pain from the knees down. It is what I would consider being neuropathy even though I don’t know how that feels. I recently had an EMG done to find out what is going on but they found nothing. I just wonder if this is caused by the IVC filter?

    Posted on June 12, 2016 at 11:18 am

  • Melissa says:

    I had an IVC filter placed in 2006 when I was 15. At the time I was hospitalized for pulmonary embolisms. I was never told it would need to be removed. Since then I have experienced a DVT in my leg and I’m currently back in the hospital for more pulmonary embolisms. I’m 9 weeks pregnant and I thought this filter was supposed to prevent embolisms. My IVC filter has been nothing but trouble.

    Posted on October 11, 2016 at 2:45 am

  • Rhonda says:

    I am not sure what or who I should talk to about this and if I even have a case but I have had 6 clots 2 pe and the second pe clogged the filter then another one by went around at the same time the and went to my lungs the dr said he had never seen anything like this before I have never hurt so bad with the 2nd pe as I did with the first one so not sure what kinda of filter it is i had but it has been removed and I have not had another blood clothes since it was removed from me i was never asked if I wanted put in i had a disc scattere in my back so I woke up to man standing over me doing something between my legs I remember saying what are you doing and he said remember you have a blood clot disorder and put me back to sleep so I had surgery on my back and then about a month or few weeks I had my second pe so I JUST WONDER KNOW if it is from the filter bc the pain from my first one I had to the second one was so bad and different i would love to have some answers know

    Posted on November 3, 2016 at 10:35 am

  • Misty says:

    I had a filter put in back in 1997 and I still have it. I haven’t had any problems, but after seeing this, I am a little worried now.

    Posted on November 19, 2016 at 3:10 am

  • Jodie says:

    My IVC was put in, in 2004. Recently after another Hospital stay and recurrent MRI’s. I was told not only do I have a complete fracture of device that in fact THERE ARE TWO !!!! The Hospitalist told me because of the filters being in so long he would not order them taken out. I’m in almost constant pain and I am so afraid. Because of my husband’s work offered insurance, I have to have a referral to see any specialist. I can not just take it upon my self to find a doctor to remove THESE things. I am (;I feel ) judged and actually looked down at for having chronic pain, and have tried many times to stop taking the lowest amount pain killers possible. I can no longer work, because of the pain. And I’m a Mother of a special needs child. Some one please give me an idea. I’m miserable.

    Posted on January 11, 2017 at 8:58 am

  • Melissa says:

    I had a filter put in place 2006, I was in the hospital due to blood clots. The dr. never mentioned having the filter removed.

    Posted on January 20, 2017 at 3:29 pm

  • Nami says:

    I am a doctor in India.I have been using IVCF in my procedures.Recently I faced an issue during the removal of it.I use Cook Medical (Celect) filter.Can you suggest me which one do you use & why?I have read your blogs & I am really interested to hear from you.It would be helpful for me if you also mention the price of the filter you use.

    Posted on April 5, 2017 at 8:56 am

  • Scott says:

    Jason was wondering if you may have symptoms similar to my mother she has an IVC filter in planted for two months now and has been experiencing tremendous pain she says it’s like contractions in her lungs and chest area for about 30 seconds it takes your breath away multiple times a day have you ever experienced this or something like this

    Posted on July 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm

  • James says:

    I had one put in around 1997 still there. I also had a hernia mesh that failed sms almost killed me when it migrated to my stomach. It put holes in my stomach and I bled out. Went to emergency room it to major surgery and 9 units of blood to keep me alive. Back to the filter I have had chest pain and extreme shortness of breath since the major surgery. The filter has never come out.

    Posted on November 6, 2017 at 7:35 pm

  • Paul says:

    I had a ivc filter placed due to unexplained blood clots in 2007. I have started to get numbness in my right arm. I was never told that the filter my cause harm.

    Posted on October 30, 2018 at 9:14 pm

Add Your Comments

  • Have Your Comments Reviewed by a Lawyer

    Provide contact information below and additional private comments if you want an attorney to contact you to review a potential case.

    The information below will not be published to this page.

  • NOTE: Providing information for review by an attorney does not form an attorney-client relationship.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.