What are Symptoms of IVC Filter Migration or Vena Cava Perforation?
Inferior vena cava (IVC) filters are small devices implanted to prevent pulmonary embolism for individuals at risk of a blood clot breaking free in the body and traveling to the lungs. However, several types of these blood clot filters have been linked to a high rate of problems, including the Bard G2 Filter, Bard Recovery Filter, Cook Celect and Gunther Tulip Filters.
The FDA has received thousands of adverse event reports involving side effects of IVC filters, including cases where the small blood clot filters perforated the walls of the inferior vena cava, migrated out of position or fractured, causing small pieces or debris to travel to the heart or lungs, potentially causing an embolism, stroke or other complication.
Have Your or a Loved One Had an IVC Filter Move Out of Position, Puncture the Vena Cava or Break?
Between 2005 and 2010, more than 921 reports of problems were filed with the FDA involving IVC filter complications, including:
- 35% involved IVC Filter migration (328 reports)
- 15% involved IVC Filter embolization or detachment of device components (146 reports)
- 7.5% involved IVC Filter perforation (70 reports)
- 6% involved IVC Filter fractures (56 reports)
The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. represent individuals throughout the United States who have suffered severe injury or even death as a result of an IVC blood clot filter. Individuals who suspect that they may be suffering symptoms of IVC filter migration, perforation or fractures should seek immediate medical treatment and contact their doctor.
In many cases, if an IVC filter migrates or moves out of position, the initial injury may be asymptomatic. However, some physicians may detect the problem after diagnosing other conditions, such as dyspnea (difficulty breathing), tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate), premature ventricular contractions, right bundle branch block, asystole, atrial fibrillation or diaphoresis.
In some cases, particularly if pieces break off and travel to the heart or lungs, symptoms of IVC filter placement problems may include:
- Chest Pain
- Heart Rhythm Problems
- Neck Pain
- Shortness of Breath
In more severe cases, if the IVC filter perforates or punctures the vena cava, or if small pieces of it break off, this can lead to more severe health complications, including:
- Hemorrhaging or Internal Bleeding
- Pulmonary Embolism
- Cardiac or Pericardial Tamponade (a disruption of the heart caused by excess fluid around the heart)
- Hole in the Heart or Lungs
- Open Heart Surgery
- Wrongful Death
IVC Filter Safety Concerns
The FDA has been raising concerns about problems with IVC filters since August 2010, when an initial communication was issued to alert doctors about risks associated with retrievable filters intended for short-term placement.
Experts have expressed concerns that the devices may be overused, with many patients receiving no benefits from IVC filters over treatment with anticoagulants along for prevention of pulmonary embolism.
Many symptoms of problems with retrievable IVC filters may have been prevented if the small devices had been removed after the blood clot risk passed. However, due to inadequate warnings and instructions provided by many manufacturers, retrievable IVC filters have often been left in place for years, potentially increasing the risk of complications.
In May 2014, the FDA issued a safety communication update that recommended doctors to remove IVC filters about one to two months after the risk of pulmonary embolism has passed. This was designed to make sure doctors were aware that they could reduce the risk of IVC filters tilting, shifting, perforating or breaking and traveling to the heart or lungs.
After seeking medical attention for any IVC filter migration or perforation symptoms, the lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. can help determine whether individuals diagnosed with an injury may be entitled to financial compensation through a product liability lawsuit. IVC filter perforation and migration settlements are being sought as a result of the device manufacturer’s apparent decision to place their desire for profits before consumer safety, by withholding important safety information from consumers and the medical community.