Over the past several years a number of lawsuits have been filed against both C.R Bard and Cook Medical in regard to the IVC filters manufactured by both companies. The lawsuits allege that the manufacturers were aware of the fact that some of the filters posed serious risks to patient health when utilized and that the use of IVC filters had resulted in serious health complications, and in some cases, death.
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The Inferior Vena Cava - What it is and What Can Go Wrong
As the largest vein in the body, the inferior vena cava transports blood to the heart from the lower half of the body. It is one of the two vena cava in the human body, the other, the superior vena cava, transports blood from the upper body to and from the head.
While the inferior vena cava usually does its job very well, things can go wrong. Occasionally, blood clots form in the arms, legs or general pelvic region. These clots are known medically as a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. Usually, these clots are not particularly life-threatening, but should they ‘break off’ and travel to the lungs, a DVT can trigger a pulmonary embolism, which ‘chokes’ the blood supply and could lead to death.
The implantation of an IVC filter is often advised in order to help prevent DVT, PE and/or stroke. However, these filters have lead to more suffering for a patient than was ever necessary or intended by their medical team.
IVC Filters - What They Are and What They Do
Although an IVC filter is a small device, it does serve a potentially very important purpose. When this metal, cage-like filter is in place, it can help prevent a pulmonary embolism by trapping a stray blood clot before it can reach the lungs.
The placement of an IVC filter is not the first line of defense a doctor will try to prevent blood clots, but should a patient not be able to take or tolerate blood thinners, IVC filter placement will be considered.
An IVC filter is usually introduced into the inferior vena cava via a catheter inserted in the groin. Some filters are designed as a temporary measure and will later be removed. Other filters are designed to be placed permanently, usually if a patient is expected to be at ongoing risk for pulmonary embolism or other serious complications from a DVT.
The IVC Filters That Have Caused the Most Problems
A number of different IVC filter models have been available for use in the USA over the past 15 years, and it has been found that some of them have notably led to more dangerous side effects and complications while in use. These models include the following:
- G2 IVC Filter System by C.R. Bard
- G2X Retrievable Filter System by C.R. Bard
- Denali Filter by C.R. Bard
- Meridian Filter by C.R. Bard
- C.R. Bard Simon Nitinol IVC Filter
- C.R. Bard IVC Filter Cone Removal Kit
- Tulip IVC Filter by Cook Gunther
- Celect IVC Filter by Cook Medical
- Greenfield IVC Filter by Boston Scientific
The recorded complications associated with the use of these devices have included device fracturing, device migration and infection. As you can see, the name C.R Bard occurs most often on the list above, explaining why so many of the lawsuits being filed are against that particular company.
Think You May Have an IVC Injury Claim? Contact an Attorney Now
If you have had an IVC filter implanted over the last fifteen years, the chances are good that one of the filters currently in question may have been utilized. Should you experience any of the signs or symptoms that are associated with IVC filter complications, you should contact your physician right away. These symptoms include:
- Sudden difficulty breathing
- Sudden fever and/or weakness, which can be signs of an infection
- Sudden leg or chest pain
- Pain at the filter implant site