A blood clot that forms in the lower body can break free and migrate to the heart or lungs. Such an occurrence can be fatal. This is why persons with blood clots, or at risk for blood clots, are often prescribed blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants). However, some people experience severe side effects when they take anticoagulants. For these patients, one option available is an IVC filter. IVC stands for inferior vena cava, the largest vein in the body. An IVC filter is a tiny, wire, spider-like device that is inserted in the inferior vena cava. It allows blood to flow through the vein but will catch a blood clot, preventing it from entering the heart or lungs.
Unfortunately, IVC filters come with problems of their own. In some instances, they’ve been known to break free and migrate to other parts of the body. In other cases, they’ve broken apart and the tiny wire pieces have punctured organs. This is a potentially fatal situation. As of 2015, estimated 27 lives have been lost due to organ perforation by a piece of IVC filter. IVC filters made by one manufacturer, C.R. Bard, have been known to be at a higher risk for breaking apart than those made by other companies. What’s particularly disturbing is that there is evidence that C.R. Bard knew about the flaws in their filters but didn’t warn the public. In addition, we are involved in IVC litigation against Cook Medical Inc. where the IVC filter perforated the client’s vena cava and despite repeated attempts to retrieve the filter, it remains embedded in the client’s vertebra.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective IVC filter, you may be eligible for compensation from the manufacturer. To find out more about your rights and options, contact the seasoned legal team at Rhine Law Firm, P.C.