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Who Needs an IVC Filter?
The main treatment for blood clots in the legs and prevention of pulmonary embolism (PE) is the use of blood thinners. Alternatively, IVC filters can be used as an option for patients who have a history of blood clots, including those diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and previous pulmonary embolism, as well as patients who are immobile or have experienced physical trauma and cannot take blood thinners.
Related Article: IVC Filter Lawsuit Update
How is an IVC Filter Implanted?
To place a vena cava filter, a surgeon makes a small incision through the neck or groin and moves a thin, flexible tube called a catheter through a vein. The catheter, carrying a collapsed filter, is sent through a blood vessel to the inferior vena cava. The filter remains after the catheter is removed, expanding to fit between the walls of the inferior vena cava. As blood circulates, the filter traps blood clots and prevents them from moving to the heart and lungs.
What are the Risks of an IVC Filter?
Risks linked to both IVC filter placement and removal include:
- Excess bleeding
- Allergic reaction
- Damage to the blood vessel at the insertion site
- Blockage of blood flow to the vena cava
- Leg swelling
- A dislodged filter traveling to the heart or lungs
- Damage to other organs from an IVC filter puncture
- Continued risk of blood clots
- Failure to remove the filter
When Should a Blood Clot Filter be Removed?
Vena cava filters are manufactured in both permanent and temporary (retrievable) models. With recent studies identifying a risk of fractured filters over prolonged periods after placement, there has been an increase in the use of retrievable IVC filters.
Retrievable IVC filters may be removed once the risk of a clot traveling to the heart and lungs passes, usually about 6 months after placement. If the patient can tolerate blood thinners and/or the risk of clots persists, a removable filter may remain in place for a longer time.
How is an IVC Filter Removed?
The retrievable IVC filter should be removed per the manufacturer’s instructions, clinical guidelines, and assessment. The removal procedure is typically done under light sedation, similar to insertion. Through a small puncture in the groin or neck, the surgeon will insert a catheter equipped with a removal device into the treatment area.
Contrast dye material may be injected to help with visibility. Once the filter is removed, the vein in which the filter was placed will be sealed. The catheter will be removed, and the skin puncture will be covered with a bandage.
What is Going on With the Cook IVC Filter Lawsuit?
As of May 2022, there were nearly 10,000 lawsuits against Cook Medical. Many plaintiffs are frustrated and urging their lawyers to move their lawsuits forward because they have been pending for years.
See all related medical device lawsuits our attorneys covered so far.
Get a Free Lawsuit Evaluation With Our Lawyers
The Medical Device Litigation Group at Schmidt & Clark, LLP law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new IVC filter complication cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has had an IVC filter implanted, you should contact our law firm immediately. Our lawyers are evaluating every individual case regardless of whether you have been injured or not. So, if you have received an IVC filter implant, we would like to speak with you. You may be entitled to compensation for an IVC filter settlement by filing a lawsuit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.